The Strathmore has been a venue of choice for a number of functions through our office, with the mainstay of the orders being their stonegrill (which is actually really good). However, it was recently bought to our attention that their burgers are worth checking out, so we thought it was our duty to head on down there and see whats what.
Venue and Service
The Strathmore Hotel is situated on North Terrace, and has recently (ish) undergone some development, in particular their new ‘beer garden’ and also a ‘birdcage balcony’. And yes, I can confirm there is a birdcage there, with some feathered creatures contained therein.
If I am honest, The Strathmore is not my favourite venue, the vibe or feel of the place just isn’t quite….right. However the food has always been of a good standard for a reasonable price. Having said this, the beer garden is a really nice development, and this was where we chose to sit.
The staff were all friendly and efficient, despite it being quite busy on the day we were there. It was a bit of a wait to order, but we only had to wait 10 minutes for the burgers to come out, so all due credit to the kitchen there.
From the menu
Chargrilled Chicken Burger – $11.50
With cheese, mixed lettuce, tomato, pineapple and our homemade herb aioli (with a soft drink)
Once they were served, the burgers were as promised on the menu and didn’t hold any surprises at all. They looked largely like we expected given the price bracket we are dealing with here.
The chicken burger didn’t have a patty as such, but instead served up chicken breast pieces, with char markings in place from the cooking process. The chicken was not overly plentiful, but at the same time sufficient for the purpose so no real complaints. It was nicely cooked, still retaining good texture and succulence.
Fillings and Roll
Along with the chicken came all the trimming as per the menu. The chargrilled pineapple was again a star addition, and something I am really becoming a big fan of on a burger. The herb aioli would likely crack under hard interrigation as to exactly who’s ‘home’ it had been made in (I am suggesting a large factory shaped home somewhere), but it was still tasty and in conjunction with the chicken and pineapple really tied it all together well. The other items were welcome additions, without really setting the world on fire.
The roll was actually quite excellent, which made a very nice change from the disappointing baked items that I had been given lately. I couldn’t really put my finger on exactly what ‘style’ of roll it was, but it was possibly of a more ‘wholemeal’ variety, with an ever so slightly chewy crust on the outside coated with some crushed seeds or similar. It had excellent flavour, was still soft and plyable enough to serve the purpose of being squished around its contents, but maintained good structure and form until the last bite. Excellent stuff – and other venues please take note – it’s not difficult to get this right!
Sides with this lunch burger special were the ubiquitous chips, or to be more accurate french fries, which were in fairly short but still sufficient supply. They were cooked ok, but could have done with a little more seasoning (and there was none around incidentally). As you can see from the picture, there was some tomato sauce in tow, which clearly was of the very mass produced variety, being super sweet, but not an unwelcome sight.
In addition to this, we got a small salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, spanish onion and cucumber with a mayo based dressing. The addition of the salad both filled in the plate and added some extra colour, but also gave that bit of extra freshness and zest. Nice.
While a drink isn’t a ‘side’, it is worth mentioning again that this lunch deal comes with a pint of soft drink of your choice.
The cost of all this was $11.50 for the chicken burger, and when you factor in that this includes a drink, it represents excellent value indeed. The size was just right for a lunch option, so you walked away contentedly full but not feeling like you needed to go and hibernate for the next 6 months.
The Strathmore offered up a budget lunch special, but without skimming too noticeably on the contents. Sure, the size was down when compared to some other venue’s, but when you factor in the price and the inclusion of the soft drink, then it really was quite impressive. The flavour of the chicken burger was excellent, it was very nicely cooked and the sizing was pretty much spot on.
It isn’t something that is going to compete with the big guns on out-and-out quality, but you know, there is a place for a good solid performance at a cheap price. And that is what you get here. For what is basically food court money, you get something with much more personality, and as a bonus you can sit in their excellent beer garden to have it. Recommended.
Score – 7.5