Kid friendly ranch
A friends milestone 40th birthday brings me to the huge Ranch Hotel perched on the leafy hill of the corner of Epping and Herring Road. It has it's own car parking area which is entered via Herring Road. All the meals for about 30-40 adults and kids are generously paid for by the birthday boy which was such a nice surprise including a delicious Mango Coconut cake bought by one of his friends from Mezzapica Cakes in Leichhardt. Catering for so many people in one group can be a nightmare but my friend was so organised that he managed to get everyone to pre order what they wanted so he could simply hand over one complete list to the bistro kitchen. The chefs in the large open kitchen did very well to cater for everyone when all the meals seemed to pretty much come out around the same time. Considering the dining area is very large they seem to have a very streamlined production line to cope with large orders.
The steaks are promoted heavily in the menu so I had to try one of these and ordered the Fillet mignon 220g with grilled tiger prawns ($32) which was a quality cut of meat with thankfully little grizzle. The side salad was perhaps quite small but it came with a decent amount of chips. It was great to see so many of the other meals ordered from the menu and by appearance I think the Slow cooked lamb shanks ($26) would have been a good choice as well. I managed to try a few standard issue fish nuggets and calamari rings from the kids meals of Fish and chips ($8.50) and Calamari and chips ($8.50) which included a soft drink and ice cream. My hopes of a good coffee weren't high but the barista at the time made a decent Cappuccino ($3.50) to go with my yummy piece of Mango Coconut cake.
PROS: Parking available, Kid friendly, Special promotion nights, Caters well for large groups, Friendly service
CONS: Steaks are quite pricey for a hotel bistro but decent quality
MUST TRY: Slow cooked lamb shanks next time
Indonesian choo wok: Chicken, tiger prawns asian greens wok tossed with noodles in a mild soy chilli blend finished with cashews and fried shallots $24
Penne boscaiola with chicken tossed with sautéed bacon, mushrooms, shallots, cream, white wine and topped with shaved parmesan $19
Salt and pepper combo-prawns and calamari coated in a salt and pepper blend, flash fried and served with a lemon garlic aoili, chips and salad $26
Grilled wild barramundi fillet dusted with lemon myrtle served with roasted chat potatoes with grilled cherry tomatoes, crisp greens and a citrus dressing $25
Mango Coconut cake
Kid friendly play area