A major renovation to the Stirling Arms has opened up the front beer garden – with the high wall which sort of hid it from passers-by removed to be replaced by an iron fence making it more accessible and inviting. Inside the dining area is pleasant, if a little stark and the hard floors do tend to make it noisy at times – but it is inviting nonetheless.
I do like the wine list here – a good range of WA and local wines to the forefront- and our choice of Flametree Embers Cabernet Sauvignon was very enjoyable – lovely bouquet of black plums and mulberries with a hint of mint, the palate rich and juicy, full of blackberry and blackcurrant flavours, with some dark chocolate notes.
The menu is certainly of the pub food persuasion with pies and burgers and fish and chips all featuring – with a fish of the day dish and a beef and cheese pie making up our order.
The threadfin was well cooked –juicy and moist and tender with a crisped skin – draped over a salad of beans and greens and tomato and sliced radish. A good dish.
Unfortunately the pie didn’t live up to expectations – cooked too long – as should have been obvious by the crisp and dark brownness of the pastry – the beef filling while reasonably flavoured was dry and unappealing – a bowl of gravy helped a little but all in all, a miss. We probably should have sent it back but were a little distracted by the news that popped up on our phone that Bob Hawke had just died and things passed us by a tad. Anyway, it should not have come out from the kitchen in that state, so a bit of blame on both sides!
Having said that, we have been here on a number of occasions and for the most part the food is pretty good. So I can forgive this lapse – it wont keep us way as the Stirling Arms is worth a visit – I like the beer garden out front, too and the bottle shop has a good range of wine and beer.