Tag Archives: Zirky’s

First I Ate Mount Hotham

3 Sep

On top of Mt Hotham - A spectacular week's skiing

On Wednesday 25th August the snow poured from the sky onto Mount Hotham. For two days. More snow than had ever been seen before. So much snow that the roads were closed. Until 1200 on Friday 27th August when the road opened, the sky cleared, and we were blessed with the best snow ever seen and blue sky days.  We were holidaying with good friends who also had kids, we were 9 in total.  The skiing was just beautiful, the kids were all in ski school (every day) which was awesome not just for us, but they had a great time & learnt to ski.  Something I wish I had done from age 3!  Here they are …

The gang on top of Big D

We stayed at Dinner Plain, Panorama Chalet, which for families was a great option. Beautiful big house, plenty of safe snow play for kids, small ski & toboggan runs nearby and plenty of facilities.

Panorama Chalet

Dinner Plain toboggan run

Most importantly for us, the best dining options were also located in Dinner Plain. So with the help of a babysitter from ski school, and having earned our dinner, we hit them up. First stop Cilantro.  This bar had a very urban feel, yet cosy with a little fire going & dim lighting. Much smarter than your average shabby ski resort options.  Tapas is pretty ubiquitous for many a bar these days, but this one was a cut well above most. I would say it is not exactly ‘tapas’ but more of a ‘share menu’. Call it what you will, we called it yum.  The highlight for us all was the smoked eel croquettes with a fairy floss like  mound of translucent leeks piled on top.  Also great was the besara (broad been dip), and these wagyu meatballs

Wagyu meatballs at Cilantro

Also impressive was our chicken with chorizo and the palm heart salad and they had a small, but interesting wine list.

Chicken w Chorizo at Cilantro

Palm Heart Salad at Cilantro

Next night was Tsubo, which we were really looking forward to as it was recommended by many.  A short & interesting beverages list had quite a few Japanese beers & sakes plus a few of Bridge Road Brewery’s beers, this was good to see, getting a good beer on the mountain was nigh on impossible.  Loved the sake as an aperitif. This dish was definitely the prettiest on the mountain, a squid salad, with fennel, squid ink, some pickled tentacles & citrus segments. It was as divine to eat as it looked

Tsubo Squid Salad

The most-ogled dish was hubby’s. This perfectly cooked lamb was decorated with something translucent. Couldn’t pick what it was, but they were just the most diaphanous, gorgeous things ever. No photo I ever took could do them justice, but I had a fair few goes at it anyway….

Tsubo diaphanous lamb

Turns out they were just humble ol spuds. Yep, a bit like those Sea Salt Crisps. But way better.

After blue sky skiing for 5+ days, we were done in. It had clouded over & we were wet. Deserved a long lunch obviously.  Final destination was The White Room Where strangely everything is black. Except what’s outside. Also featuring ‘tapas’, this is the newest of Mount Hothams eating options, which isn’t saying much, cause the others are all exactly as I remember them 20+ years ago. So with kids in ski school, we settled into a long lunch. The pick was yet again, Hubby’s. Food envy, melt in the mouth beef cheek with naughty mash

Beef cheek at the White Room

Just look at that mash! I think I had a confit duck salad that was not memorable.  But the lunch was.

Final mentions went to Zirky’s, that hasn’t changed a bit. The burger was so huge it was enough for 2 men.  And, the Summit Bar at the Snowbird. Which has reassuringly not changed one iota since I danced on the tables there, not even the tables.  The food was great. Lots of reasonably priced, fresh, interesting, dishes. We had 3 vegetarians in our group, and given we went there for lunch 5 times, they still hadn’t worked through all the things they wanted to eat. The haloumi burgers and felafals were big hits. A refreshing option both for quality & price on the Mountain.

Our fridge

The biggest disappointment was the lack of beer choices.  It is really a beer desert, which is pretty diabolical. Hope the brewers in the North East get some of their good gear up there soon.

I am pretty sure we ate most of Mount Hotham, definitely all the bits that are worth eating. But this journey went on down the mountain.  To be continued…..