The Larder Review – Daylesford, Australia
My wife and I like to travel as much as we possibly can, even if it involves day trips or weekend trips from our current home base in Melbourne, Australia. There is an annual Tulip Festival held in the Dandanong Ranges east of Melbourne that my wife wanted to take in so we hopped in the car and headed west. You heard me right, west. We ended up in Ballarat, mid-morning excited for the festival only to find out it was two hours east in the Dandanongs. We didn’t check where the festival was located and ended up far away from our planned destination. It was just a scenic route that we eventually took, not necessarily efficient, but we got there.
On our way back to the tulip festival we decided to stop for lunch in Daylesford – a little country town known for spas, luxury and good food. Our lunch stop was at a place along the main strip called The Larder. It looked busy, the menu was appealing and we regularly go to a fantastic restaurant in Melbourne called Richmond Hill Café & Larder, so I thought it had to be a goodie.
The café was a cool little joint that definitely had a happening vibe and a fairly relaxed feel. It was located right on the main strip and they were definitely pushing through a decent amount of traffic. There were notable options within Daylesford with great reputations such as Kazuki and The Lake House but we didn’t listen to the reviews and went to The Larder.
To start we ordered an order of Croquettes to share. They were little deep fried bite size morsels that were hot out of the fat. That was about the only good quality about them. Anything deep-fried and salted generally tastes good, but beyond the crispy salty batter they lacked any real satisfaction.
My main was a slow roasted BBQ pork sandwich with a side of lettuce and pickled cucumber that weren’t quite pickles. The sandwich itself was dry, both the bread and pork, and it was topped with coleslaw. It lacked flavour and the highlight was the coleslaw. I don’t know what I was meant to do with the side of lettuce but I’m glad they attempted to add pickles to the side dish. I am generally in agreement with accompanying a good deli style sandwich with a tangy pickle, but these cucumbers weren’t that. They had the right idea, but weren’t quite at that bite-ey level that I crave in a good dill pickle. Schwartz in Montreal does it right. Smoked meat sandwich, cherry cola and pickle – done! Larder, not so much. Let’s work on that.
We left full, but not satisfied and were forced to pick up a truffle from the gourmet chocolate shop up the street on our way out of town. The bill was just short of what we would have paid at Kazuki’s, but the quality wasn’t even close to the same level. You live you learn.
57A Vincent St, Daylesford
Phone: 03 53484700
Open daily from 8am
Food Quality 6/10
- Daylesford and beyond (sophiewhitman.wordpress.com)
- Cucumbers Pickled to Deliciousness. (iameatingwhat.wordpress.com)
- Garlic Dill Pickles (marriedtomeatloaf.com)