02 March 2010
The Rhino Bar Townsville -
There are two things about me that drive my poor husband absolutely bonkers.
#1. That I will drag him across a busy road just to read a Restaurant menu.
#2. That I have started photographing everything we eat.
Although he is yet to stage a coup - I honestly don't think it's that far off.
I think - even as a foodie - you know that you have reached a pretty bad place, when you check into a Hotel and you already know their Room Service Menu off by heart.
And know what you will order.
And know how long you have to shower and be in PJ's before they knock on the door...
It was this shameful admission that forced me to venture outside the Hotel, and to actually eat dinner like a normal person. Sans pajamas, bad TV and minibar within reach.
So although I didn't venture very far - let's be honest - it was less than 100m, I did leave the comfort of my room and actually go out for dinner.
Or Tapas. Whatever, it was a meal and I was dressed. I deserve a medal just for that!
A quick scout of Townsville's Palmer Street brought me to Rhino Bar - it was open, serving food and there were other single women also eating alone. Awesome.
I ordered two plates of tapas so that I would have room for dessert. Pork Belly with Haloumi and Prawn and Pineapple Skewers.
Both were fine - but fairly pedestrian. They had the idea right with the small plates and interesting ingredients but missed the mark on both.
The Pork Belly had some lovely flavours - sticky and sweet with an Asian influence, but the Pork wasn't handled properly. It had been cooked too quickly for the fat to render down so the layers of fat were much thicker than the actual layers of meat. But in saying that - it had been cooked so long that the meat had lost all firmness. As soon as I took to it with a fork, it collapsed into nothing. It came with a cold dollop of what I am pretty sure was a store-bought dip (Roast Capsicum and Feta maybe?), which was fine with the Haloumi - but didn't do the Pork any favours.
The Prawns were lovely and fresh and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, accompanied on a skewer with fresh Queensland pineapple - it was nice, but again - missing the winning element. A simple marinade of chilli and ginger would have taken this to a whole other level - but as it was - it was simply a Prawn and a piece of Pineapple on a stick. Good ingredients but nothing to marry them.
Dessert was again - fine, but pedestrian. Chocolate Brownie with homemade Ice Cream was two triangles of frozen brownie sandwiching a chocolate ice cream middle. Like I said - it was fine - but if I had my time again - I would just walk to the corner store for a Magnum Sandwich instead...
The Verdict: It's not earth shattering, but its a decent spot for a drink and something to nibble on. The Tapas plates were $10 each which is decent value for the size and obvious quality of the prawns.
Recommendations: My choices were fine - next time, if I go again - I would go something a little more mainstream. They have good ideas with flavours - but just haven't got there yet.
Contact: Rhino Bar