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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Merimbula RSL bistro – budget meals and rich view

By Darren Stones

Holidays – what a great time to kick back and relax without having to cook and wash the dishes. RSLs by nature serve meals similar to what middle-class suburbanites eat at home, and it’s for this reason budget conscious travellers with a penchant for home-cooked meals dine at club bistros.

The Merimbula RSL has a laid-back, welcoming feel and its open-plan building provides views towards the scenic Merimbula Lake. The dining room is spacious with good space separating tables – ideal for those wanting a reasonably private chat.

Bronwyn and I were cheerfully greeted by a host and were swiftly guided with accompanying menus to our table by the window. We were politely asked if we’d dined here before (which we had) and were informed of the soup, roast and fish offerings of the day.

We admired the vista out the window, took a sip on our respective beverages and then it was down to a careful study of the menu. The entrees are of the usual fare; soup, garlic bread and prawns. But it’s the locally-grown oysters as an appetiser which seems to get top billing.

As usual, we bypass the starters and entrees – which ranged between $5.50 to $15.50 – and cast our eyes over the mains list.

The orders are taken at a dedicated counter area where the register is kept busy. It’s a hive of activity behind the servery with the chefs moving in sync. The service is smart, quick and professional. Runs like clockwork and meals keep getting churned out for the hungry patrons.

Looking down the menu, the following headings consisted of a variety of culinary options; fresh Pambula rock oysters (the usual kilpatrick gets a mention), pasta and risotto, pizzas, mains (which consisted of the ubiquitous roast of the day and chicken dishes), seafood, from the char-grill, and on and on it went until Sam’s chinese appeared. Oh, and the children’s menu was available for those 12 and under – that made me contemplate whether a 13-year-old is a child or not.

Being on a tight budget, we chose the roast of the day. It was lamb with roast vegetables. I chose the large size for $14.90 and Bronwyn ordered the small size for $9.90. Let’s be frank here, I’m glad I consumed a schooner of ale before feasting on the lukewarm plate of meat and veg because my appetite didn’t give way to wanting the dish warmer.

Nevertheless, it was the type of super-saver meal we were seeking and it satisfied the tummy grumbles. The bread rolls provided good filling and we enjoyed a good night out.
My advice: book a window table and enjoy the view, food and company.

Further information:
Merimbula RSL
52-54 Main Street
Merimbula NSW 3548
Phone: 02 6495 1502

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Darren Stones