Don't you just hate it when you've been looking forward to a meal all day and counted down the hours and minutes until you leave only to find that when you get to the restaurant the lusted after meal is not offered? Needless to say that I do. My husband and I, although not really regulars at Corelli's (we live a bit too far away) have visited many, many times. And every time I order the dinner special, for $16 or $16.90 you get the dish of the day (whatever they have is always good) and it always comes with dessert of your choice although its never a choice for me. I always order the crumble: my number 1 favourite crumble in the world with vanilla ice cream.
So when we arrive at 7.30pm one night I look to the blackboard eagerly to see what is on offer. I had psyched myself up to have anything, even pasta which I don't usually eat. There's nothing but a lunch special. Apparently there is no dinner special on tonight. I am crushed. I look at the well worn menu and choose my "backup" meal, the grilled barramundi (with lemon butter on the side), mash and steamed vegetables. I need not ask what my husband will have, he is fierrcely loyal to the tofu burger and nothing will stand between him and the burger.
Grabbing some magazines, we sit down in wait for our meals that never come out in a hurry, for you see they are prepared to order in a small kitchen with a multitude of different components and on huge plates. To kill time I perve on the homemade cakes in the display noting that there's plenty of my favourite crumble left with lots of topping.
_ Grilled Barramundi with mash and steamed vegetables (lemon butter sauce on the side) $16.50_
Its quiet tonight and so its not too long before our meals arrive. My barramundi is a large piece of grilled fish over a huge mound of mashed potato and steamed carrots, beans and broccoli. Sometimes they give you two pieces of fish and it covers practically the whole plate. As always its good, although as I am ambivalent about the lemon butter sauce (sometimes its too lemoney although tonight its very buttery), I ask for it to arrive in a small side dish. The mash is good, not particularly smooth but reassuringly full of real potato (I'd personally like to ban instant mashed potato) and the steamed vegetables perfectly cooked. Try as I might however, I cannot finish it.
Tofu burger with salad $9.50
I take a bite of my husband's tofu burger. Its a thick tofu patty fried in curry spices with fried onion and satay sauce on top sandwiched between lightly toasted Turkish bread with a fabulous salad on the side. The salads are particularly good here with at least 5 different types of vegetables in them and always with a delicious dressing and tonight is no exception. I steal some of my husband's salad while he is taking photos.
Greek Almond Shortbread $2.60
I am fighting with all my might not to order the apple, rhubarb and berry crumble (served warm with ice cream) but alas you see there is no room in the inn (i.e my stomach). I would have ordered some to take away but we're seeing a movie at the Dendy shortly and its not a particularly practical dessert to transport. So I ignore my inner whine and settle for smaller, less stomach-filling sweets; the Greek Almond shortbread (always a favourite since I was small) and a caramel shortbread. The Almond shortbread is blanketed in icing sugar snow and although it is marked with some moisture on top, it is as good as I remember them to be, a powdery, sweet, nutty biscuit. The caramel shortbread is lamentably small (we should've ordered the large one) and gone within two bites in a sweet thick caramel centered biscuit haze.
Small Caramel Shortbread $2.60
The staff find our photo taking curious and ask about it and when I explain they offer to take out the crumble for my husband to photograph which he does. I shall be back for you another night dear crumble! Mark my words!
_Apple, rhubarb and berry crumble with oat and nut crunch $5.90 per serve. Ice cream or cream $1 extra.
Corelli's Café Gallery
352 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
Phone (02) 9550 4080
Open: 7 days 7am-12 midnight;
Seats inside 50