Friday, 30 January 2009

The Junction at New Norfolk

You can tell from the amount of eating out that Rita has been doing over the past week that the annual holidays are fast running out! Rita is packing in as much as she can before that dreaded first day back at work this coming Monday!

Last night was no exception. It was the turn of New Norfolk to host Rita, and they did indeed do it in style. Last nights meal out was at the Junction – the motel and restaurant facing the roundabout as you drive into town.

I went along there at the invitation of, and in company with, Deb, an old friend from way back. Deb does business with many restaurants, cafes and takeaways, so is a great source of knowledge for Rita regarding who is where at any particular point in time. Deb also is such a friendly person that sometimes her view on places she’s dragged me to over the years is skewed!

Last night she redeemed herself with the Junction. We arrived and were warmly greeted by mine host Dale, a lovely friendly guy and Tim Last, a chef who has been round for yonks. The guys have taken on the challenge of the Junction, and I predict they will go well there.

When Verandahs (in the Valley) opened up years back, I held out hope that this heralded the start of big things (gastronomically) for that end of town. Verandahs has since closed down, and there has been a gap in the higher end market there. Yes, I realize there have been a few other fabulous eating places round New Norfolk in the past, but none have sustained the years, and none of them has managed to attract additional similar businesses to make it more of a drawcard area for those of us who like to travel round our state using eating venues as our guides.

With Junction, and Rodney Dunn’s new Agrarian Kitchen cooking school business, I’m hoping the so-called ‘valley of love’ will start to pull in a few other affiliated businesses, and take off the way it should have years ago.

As you will deduce from yesterdays post, I had lunched at Taste, so my thinking was that I would order a few entrée-sized portions at Junction, as well as sampling whatever Deb ordered, so would be able to form a reasonable opinion of their food. What I hadn’t counted on was the fact that their entrees would be so big!

For a starter, I ordered the Twice-cooked pork belly with Asian noodle salad ($16.50). This was absolutely stunning in flavour, and would have sufficed as my main. I highly recommend this dish to anyone who enjoys pork and Asian.
Deb had the Duet of Pistachio, pork and veal terrine with chicken liver pate and grilled flatbread ($14). As big a guts as she is, I know with certainty that she would ideally have loved to just sit on this course and continue drinking! She raved about it!

For mains, Deb had selected the Grilled fresh fish of the moment (pictured below) served on a Greek salad with fat chips ($28). Yesterdays fish was Blue eye. She declared it perfect, and managed to eat every morsel on her plate!

I had ordered an entrée sized Thai steamed seafood broth ($16.50). When it arrived it was on a dinner sized plate and chock full of seafood, including oysters, mussels and calamari. It was gorgeous, and I was genuinely remorseful that I just couldn’t tackle such a large serving. (No pic unfortunately, as I ran out of battery)

Unfortunately we had to pass on the desserts but their menu sounded lovely too. Chatting to the girls on the table next to us proved interesting as they were locals who said they eat there weekly, as they love the food there and were saved the drive into the city to eat out. That’s loyalty and I was delighted that the locals are patronizing a restaurant such as this in their area.

I will definitely return to eat there, and recommend that if you are wanting to try somewhere out of the city, you look at the Junction. If you want to drink as well, try booking into their accommodation. Apparently it’s basic at the moment but plans are afoot for the renovation.

Well done guys.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a trip to New Norfolk is on the cards for us. Thanks Rita.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfull atmosphere, sensational food and the waiter is cute