After watching others cook and eat, Michael and I were in need of a bit of sustenance ourselves. Thankfully, we needed to do little more than climb the stairs to the Corner Hotel Kitchen. Having spent the last few hours in the typically dingy environment of the pub gig venue, I was surprised by the sophisticated look of the restaurant. Then I was surprised by how few people were utilising it at 9pm on a Sunday! This was to our benefit if not the kitchen's, guaranteeing us swift service and a calm quiet environment in which to enjoy our meal.
The menu offers vegetarians a reasonable amount of choice amongst 350g rib eye and fish'n'chips. The snacks cover the usual chips and garlic bread and stretch further to vegetarian nachos piled high with guacamole and tofu kebabs with miso pesto; the mains include a calzone, pasta, a burger and a pizza. Michael ordered the veggie burger with wedges ($16). He wasn't much impressed by the patty, it being an uninspired mash-up of potatoes and mixed veges, but the wedges were surprisingly good. It's quite possible that they were of the frozen variety, yet they arrived hot, super-crisp and well seasoned.
I went for the linguini with swiss brown mushrooms, leek, pine nuts and a creamy white wine sauce ($15). Pasta with cream sauce has been massacred by many a pub kitchen, but this one was a dream - the lightest of sauces clung to the toothsome pasta with none left over to pool in the bottom on the plate, the mushrooms and parmesan were shaved thinly, providing regular bursts of earthy flavour. It's rare that I'd deem pasta served at a restaurant to be worth $15, but this one certainly was.
While the cook-off joyfully fulfilled my expectations, the Corner Kitchen far exceeded them. I'd be happy to return before another year's done and the Circus Pie Classic brings me to the Corner Hotel once again.
Address: 57 Swan St, Richmond
Ph: 9427 9198
Price: veg mains $15-17