I have written before about the Stirling Arms and its reincarnation as a solid neighbourhood pub from the rundown den of the past. It has been renovated, cleaned up, and has now taken its place as an historic pub in an historic precinct, Guildford.
On the weekend Lady FWO and I were on our way to the Guildford Town Hall for a presentation of Anzac memorial plaques to Guildford householders whose houses (like ours) were once the home of a WW1 soldier – an initiative of the Guildford Association, and funded by the Federal government.
Being early we stopped across the road at the hotel for a quick meal and steadying drink.
The food offerings are largely what you would expect in a suburban pub – among the starters are duck spring rolls, Cajun calamari and pork belly; the mains include rack of lamb, barramundi, steak, duck breast and a vegetarian option, an haloumi stack. From the starters we chose a couple – seared scallops and chilli and garlic prawns.
Some pretty good wines make an appearance on the drinks list and we opted for a bottle of rosé from Perth Hills producer, Hainault – made from merlot, this soft, dry style exhibits strawberry aromas, with pleasant juicy red berries on the palate.
The scallops – three, each served in a china spoon – were nicely cooked, tender but with a firmness to the bite, although the sundried tomato dotted on top was, to our palate, a little overpowering of the delicate flavour of the molluscs. They could have done without that addition, but were enjoyable all the same.
Four of five prawns, cooked with their tails, were covered in a creamy garlicky sauce with a hint of red chilli, and served with a small mound of rice; again the seafood was well-cooked, tender and sweet.
The area where we sat adjacent to the public bar is a tad stark, but as the place filled with a team of celebrating footy players from Swan View who made the pool table their home, this faded into the background a bit with music, laughter and the clack of the balls ringing out.