Tuesday evening and I’m in Emerald. I know it’s a wee bit later than that, but I’ve had no Internet coverage. Emerald is an inland island city, surrounded by a sea of mining towns and small communities. So where else would I look to have dinner then a pub that chooses its name from the Emerald Isle itself – The Irish Village.
Located in the central business district, The Irish Village opened its air conditioned arms to me in the most hospitable manner. In common with a lot of Irish Pubs in Australia, the vast majority of the staff had the gift of the Gab in that up lifting Irish accent. With twinkle in her eye, I was led to a very comfortable table and presented with a bottle of water and the menu.
On the negative side, the décor could do with a little attention. It had the bones of an Irish Pub about it but was a little sterile. It was perhaps more New York chic then Dublin Pub. Maybe if I was there on a Friday or Saturday night with a band and some Gaelic craic on offer, I wouldn’t have noticed as much.
The fare was your typical Irish pub variety. On offer was the obligatory Guinness Pie along with favourite Lamb Shanks, etc. I wasn’t that hungry so settled on Bangers and Mash. At $19.00 I thought it a little dear for a plate of snags and tatties, but as I hadn’t had Traditional Pork sausages for a while I thought I’d give it a go.
When the meal arrived, I was not disappointed and I could immediately see the value for my coin. The serving itself was on the large side of generous, perhaps due to the appetites of the miners who often frequent there. Whatever the reason, I have never before been offered up pieces of cauliflower and broccoli the size of a small child’s brain. Although under seasoned, all the vegetables were cooked to perfection and the mash smooth and buttery. The two pork sausages were beautiful. Full of flavour, slightly peppery they were just as sausages should be.
It’s often the small things which help to put the icing on the cake. At the Irish Village, their napkins are of a high quality. Thick and non-abrasive, unlike the thin, papery ones favoured by most establishments, until I picked them up, I was fooled into thinking they were linen.
In the words of Arnie “I’ll be back”. Exactly when, I’m not sure as I only get to Emerald a couple of times a year. The food was very good, the atmosphere good, the staff and service very good. Next time, I might try that Guinness Pie.