Our first discovery for the not very new year was a rediscovery of an old favourite we first visited just over a year ago, The Quiet Man in Flemington. The location was chosen for its proximity to The Lodge, but we also had fond memories of the food from our last visit. This time we booked a table for an early start at 6.30, which was a good thing as we found that most of the tables in the dining room were either occupied or reserved for later.
Our trip to the Quiet Man was via the long slow 57 tram journey, chosen for its convenience to the traditional pre-discovery rendezvous of Dikstein's Corner Bar (I have to have Hawthorn amber ale now, as they no longer stock VB or Little Creatures and the NZ export gold tap beer is not the best beer I have ever tasted by a long way). The tram was already packed by the time it arrived at the new Collins Street super stop (stop 2) so we had to settle for separate seats. But in due course after its devious route through North Melbourne the tram arrived at stop 24. After taking our lives in our hands crossing from the safety zone to the footpath through the busy Racecourse Road traffic, we were ready for a drink.
We had a nice big table right near the bar and were given excellent service after a small confusion about our booking. Unfortunately Mr 29 was unable to join us but our group was supplemented by Mr 31's little brother who is staying at The Lodge for a couple of weeks. Once we had all settled at our table with a drink, perused the extensive menu and placed our orders, we had to wait half an hour or so for our food to arrive, which is understandable on a busy public holiday eve.
This time I had 'Mullingar's stuffed mushrooms' which came with a large pile of salad and about three enormous potatoes cut into crispy roasted chunks. The other discoverers had fish and chips and steak with colcannon and chips respectively. I tasted some of Mr 31's colcannon and it was delicious. I think next time I might have colcannon and veggies instead of a main course. The other 'Out of the soil' option I haven't yet tried is baked potato with coleslaw, which doesn't seem particularly Irish, but there are heaps of delicious looking side dishes on the menu.
When we could eat and drink no more, our youngest discoverer escorted us to Newmarket station on his way back to The Lodge, leaving Mr 31 in contemplation of a Guinness and a jar of Anzac biscuits (some of the three dozen I had made during the afternoon).
After a short wait at Newmarket our train obligingly rolled in, taking us the short distance to the city very efficiently compared to the tram, but sadly just in time to miss the 9.09 Belgrave. However a three car Ringwood train appeared not long after, so we caught that back to the dark and quiet city of Boroondara, walking home from East Camberwell in the frosty clear night.