In late May, the Holdfast Hotel redeveloped, introducing their new function areas, grunge sailor theme, and - most importantly - their fresh interpretation on global street food crossed with classic Australian pub food.
This weekend, The Holdy launches their Winter Bunker: a toasty haven against that winter chill, and a solution to when your stomach's running on empty. We were fortunate enough to be invited for a little sneak peak at their wonderful winter food and cocktail menu.
The Holdy doesn't overdo their winter theme - instead, they add a quirky touch of fake snow, a bit of glitter, and a seat against a snowy backdrop, so you can pretend like you're taking the ski lift up to Mt. Bueller to shred some slopes from the comfort of Glenelg South (so close, yet so far). The staff are wonderfully accommodating, and from personal observation, don't judge you for taking your second (or third) cocktail.
One of the things The Holdy does reliably well is street food: they take inspiration from international cuisines, and do them justice with their bold flavours. They say you eat with your eyes first, and The Holdy amplifies their concept of 'street food' by adding a visually appealing twist: they serve their meals on plastic platters, or in the noodle boxes, so it genuinely feels as though you've just gotten a meal from a food truck or a street vendor on the other side of the world. Alongside their vibrant cocktails, their new winter menu is guaranteed to surprise and delight you.
We began the night with duck bao (steamed buns) with vegetables. The bao and vegetables made the dish light and fresh, contrasting perfectly with the duck that fell apart in your mouth. Paired with the first cocktail, "Empire of Dreams", with its citrus-y flavours (and splash of Bacardi), the entree was a refreshing surprise for a cold winter night.
Two words for the main: "So. Good." Which also seemed to be the general consensus as we dug in. Resembling Wok In A Box, the dish of saffron rice and crispy chicken warmed everyone right up. Served with the slightly stronger "Cloud B" (spoiler alert: looks and smells like apple juice, decidedly does not taste like apple juice), the main was bold, a little spicy, and extremely tasty.
After being served two Asian-inspired dishes, we were thrown a little curveball: dessert in the form of churros. They're the perfect winter dessert: warm, sugary choux pastry dipped in decadent chocolate. I probably could've eaten eight. Alongside the churros, we were given something quite unusual: a warm cocktail, "Hot Buttered Fuego" of rum, and melted butter.
If you're really feeling the winter chill, why not go and try The Holdy's new winter menu? We promise that it won't leave you feeling cold.
Photos via The Holdfast Hotel Facebook page & Emma Ferraro.
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