Hyde Park Tavern

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date of visit:  Tuesdsay 17 January 2012

I’m one of these people who spends far too long thinking about where to eat which makes a simple lunch date a three hour exercise in research. After quite a bit of agonising I decided I was being ridiculous and I should just choose the venue closest to my lunch partner’s house.

Easy – that’s the Hyde Park. I may have been here once before – waaaaaay back when I was at uni. It might have just been for drinks as I certainly don’t remember anything about a meal.

As with almost all pubs now, the Hyde Park has a refurbished Bistro which, when I arrived at 1pm on a Tuesday, had a few tables full, mostly with older patrons. This was lucky as I hadn’t booked. I know – so out of character for me! I was greeted and given a choice of tables and the requested high chair was promptly delivered. This was typical of all our interaction with staff – cheerful, friendly, efficient and actually thinking about their job. It’s so lovely when you arrive at a venue with a small child and the staff put some effort into thinking about where you might be most comfortable sitting.

Naturally, I’d spent some time at home reading the menu and thinking about what I might have. I wasn’t feeling super hungry so I knew my standard schnitzel was out of the question. I eventually decided on the tandoori chicken with cucumber and mint salsa, raita and flat bread. Maybe the baby would like to try some tandoori chicken …

When the chicken arrived, it was served as a kind of open wrap. The flat bread covered the plate and the chicken, salsa and raita were spread across it. I suspect that description sounds a little unappetising but the combination of the red chicken (a rusty red, not an alarming cochineal red), the green of the vegetables and the white of the yoghurt looked really good.

It also tasted good – the chicken was tender and not at all dry, and the greenery and yoghurt provided a sharp counterpoint to the richness of the tandoori paste. It wasn’t hot at all – so those who shun chillis should enjoy it and I found the portion size pretty much perfect. A good lunch but not one that will put you to sleep for the rest of the day.

My friend ordered salt and pepper squid which looked fairly standard. I didn’t try any (I was too busy trying to make sure I ate some of my chicken before my 13 month old demolished it for me) but there were no complaints from the other side of the table.

We wrapped up our meal with coffees and the bottom line was that we spent just under $50 on our lunch. I think that’s not bad at all. Most of the main courses are under $20 so you can definitely keep the cost of your lunch down.

I’d definitely head back – the food certainly cuts it amongst Adelaide’s pub grub and the staff when I was there were a real asset to the business.

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