Beers in the garden at The Boulevard

Sunshine, cider and plenty of food is definitely the formula for a guaranteed great way to spend your Saturday. And that’s exactly how a recent weekend day played out for me as I joined Nicole from David Gardiner PR and a couple of other bloggers for lunch at The Boulevard in Floreat, the sister restaurant to The Brisbane Hotel in Northbridge. Even though it’s not that far from my house, I hadn’t eaten there before so I was looking forward to what the day would bring.

Arriving a little after 1pm I meet the others outside on a table in the beer garden. All around us are custom beer and cider stalls offering tastings, competitions and even a barber giving haircuts and beard trims to the men! Love how it’s the perfect man’s day out. And for us girls, it wasn’t too shabby either!

As we all settle in with some drinks, we’re brought out some share plates to kick start our lunch. Being the pate/parfait fiend I am, I was naturally excited to see a plate of the duck and chicken liver parfait with fig chutney ($17.00) touch down. I really like The Brisbane’s version and after perusing the menu I noticed some great similarities, so I was expecting to enjoy this one – and I did!

It has a lovely buttery texture, perfect for slathering on to the toasty slices of bread. The fig chutney is thick and sticky, full of sugary goodness. 

Next to come out were the homemade sausage rolls ($16.00) which have that gorgeous rustic look and are really flavoursome. The pastry is flaky and crisp, the filling juicy and well seasoned. And of course you always need to enjoy your sausage rolls with tomato sauce!

It’s definitely good pub grub – perfect with an accompanying cider and sitting under the sun.

The pulled pork tortillas with guacamole, coriander and salsa ($18.00) look vibrant and fresh. I love pulled pork and guacamole so this was a tasty bite. The little tortillas are thin but strong enough to house all the ingredients and make the dish a little summery bite of Mexico. I would have loved a bit more depth to the salsa, but I’m a person who loves robust flavours. Squeezing a little lime over the top definitely brought the dish to life with some zing.

The share plate of chorizo, mixed olives, polenta chips and veal and oregano meatballs ($23.00) is a generous serving – just right for dining out in the sun. Chorizo is always a popular choice and I like the way they prepare theirs – it’s lightly grilled so it still has that soft meatiness rather than hard chewy texture which some places have when they over char it.
Since I’m not an olive person I didn’t have any of these, and somehow missed trying the meatballs though all accounts around the table labelled them with thumbs up. The polenta chips though I was very happy to munch on – they’re so good! Polenta is one of those ‘you love it or hate it’ ingredients and I am solidly in the affirmative. Cannot get enough of the stuff! These ones are crunchy on the outside, and a little fluffy on the inside. 

Our final share plate is the portobello, porcini and gruyere arancini ($16.00). If you know me at all, you may have heard me rave about the pumpkin and feta arancini at The Brisbane, which I can never resist ordering. But I do love mushroom, so these were definitely on my ‘to try’ list.

Slightly darker than I would normally prefer on the outside, the inside is a great balance between the earthy, flavoursome mushrooms and the punchy cheese. They’re crisp and creamy, and deliver on the promised flavours.

Soon after our share plates are cleared, our mains arrive on the table. We’ve all chosen a dish from the menu, and it’s great to see the variety in our selections. Pictured above are:
  • Grilled salmon with salsa verde, potato and leek rosti, radish, apple and fennel salad ($34.00)
  • Mozzarella, tomato and basil pizza ($19.00)
  • Fillet steak sandwich with tomato, pickle, fries and aoili ($25.00)
  • Beer battered barramundi with salad and fries ($27.00)

My dish is the tortellini ($26.00) which is filled with pumpkin, ricotta and kale, and topped with tomato, parmesan, sage and burnt butter sauce. They so remind me of my boy’s tortellini that I enviously watched him enjoy at The Brisbane recently. 
It’s a big dish and definitely one that’s a bit too ambitious for me to finish seeing as I’ve pigged out on the share items provided earlier. I really love how they’ve taken the tortellini and transformed it – al dente pasta that’s been tossed in the pan to give it some crispy edges. The filling is sweet and light, the crispy sage leaves soaked up with the burnt butter sauce. 
It didn’t have quite the depth of flavour as Jeremy’s version last time, but for a daytime dish, it was a tasty meal choice and I was really happy I went with it. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy when ordering! I get anxious and torn between several viable choices.

After eating more than I normally would for lunch, I was pretty full by that stage, but then there was still dessert to come! Instead of ordering a dish each, we all agree to share a couple and leave the choice up to the friendly team at The Boulevard to decide.

The chocolate and pistachio tart with hazelnut gelato ($15.00) looks beautiful and rich – a must have for chocoholics. I don’t try this one as I can barely fit any food in so instead I focus on a bite of the others before waving my flag of defeat.

I love cheese, so it’s no wonder that I make a beeline for this out of the desserts. We’ve been served a hard and a soft cheese ($10 per 50g serve) which comes with fruit lavosh and water crackers, plus more of that moorish fig chutney. You can never go wrong with cheese in my opinion, and I’m one of those people who loves hard and soft cheese, so I’m definitely a happy blogger at this stage.

Our final dessert is the pear frangipane with brown sugar custard and vanilla bean ice-cream ($15.00). I’ve had this dish before at The Brisbane and can definitely attest to it being a wonderful choice. It’s warm and soft, almost like a pudding thanks to the use of almond meal. My spoon glides through the pear as though it’s made of hot butter, and the custard is sweet, creamy and extremely decadent. So yummy! Everyone around the table agrees it’s a winner.

After we’ve all chomped our way through as much dessert as we can, we take the rest of the afternoon to try some more of the beers and ciders on offer, and explore the pretty outdoor setting. It’s definitely a great way to relax though the music is pumping so be prepared to get your groove on.

I have to say, I enjoyed my first visit to The Boulevard Hotel. It’s definitely got some similarities to The Brisbane, but also stands on it’s own quite well. It’s always a nice way to get to try an eating spot for the first time, though I do want to go back independently to see how it fares in a non-official setting. If it’s anything like what I experienced with the other bloggers, it’ll be lovely!

A big thank you to the team at The Boulevard and David Gardiner PR for the invitation to such a sunny and food-filled lunch. I have to admit, eating dinner that night was a struggle!

The Boulevard Hotel on Urbanspoon

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Eddie
    14 December 2014 at 11:50 am

    Menu looks and sounds just like The Brisbane so I'm guessing it's tasty as hell. Good pub food for sure!

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    14 December 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Definitely good pub food 🙂 just what's in need as we move into hotter weather!

  • Reply
    Izzy
    22 December 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Cool idea; really like the concept of having a barber on hand while you drink

  • Reply
    Queen of Bad Timing
    23 December 2014 at 2:07 pm

    It was definitely a great guy's day out – and fun for us girls too 🙂

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