Last night I dined at an establishment in Daylesford, Victoria, which has been awarded some sort of prize as a top country restaurant by the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide, whatever that is, and is described as "iconic". It wasn't a country restaurant at all in any sense beyond its location in a country town; it was a metropolitan restaurant with the usual tricked-up food and pretentiousness (there were credits on the front page of the menu to those who had "created" the food - "God?" suggested my brother). Metropolitan prices too. Is there any country restaurant that still serves genuine old-fashioned country cooking - soups and stews and pies and roasts and puddings? It's a style of food that I fear is as dead as a doornail, unless it survives in some homestead kitchen somewhere. There was a hotel at Violet Town run by a Miss Murphy years ago that used to make a speciality of proper country cooking, but no longer. As for the Daylesford icon, if it is among the best in country restaurants in Victoria one shudders to think what the worst must be like.

17 March 2012

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