The Craftsman Bar and Brasserie is located at Carousel Shopping Centre next to Han’s Cafe and opposite Zushi Bento / Fast Eddy’s. It’s a big establishment, one can’t miss it if one enter Carousel through this entrance, the most common way to get to Hoyts cinema. I pass the Craftsman countless times whenever I shop at Carousel or catch a movie at Hoyts but have never thought of dining here before. From the outside it seems to me just a bar where people drink and have finger food. When I was invited recently to check out the place, I was surprised to find a dedicated restaurant inside with a notable difference in ambiance to the outside! Silly me for forming an impression even before venturing further in. The menu is a modern Australian fare with a few ‘classic’ pub items thrown in as well. A great start to the discovery of this place!
We were not in the mood for drinking that night so we went straight for the food. The beverage menu though boasts a number of tap and bottled beers, ciders, spirits, wines, champagnes, cocktails, premixes, the lot! A huge bar area on the inside to reinforce this menu! For food, there is a dedicated dinner and set menu (2 or 3 courses), a weekly specials menu and a separate menu for the kids. Very comprehensive!
We started big with a Tasting Platter for two ($29.90)! There were many items to choose from in this Tasting Platter including salt and pepper squid, sizzling garlic prawns, marinated fetta, chili and garlic marinated olives, Asian style chicken wings, chorizo, turkish breaed, dip & e.v.o oil. The presentation of the platter was magnificent!
My favorites had to be the garlic king prawns and the salt and pepper squid. The garlic prawns were succulent and tasty, and worked so well with the turkish bread and dip. The salt and pepper squid had just the right flavor and crisp as well. It’s important that the squid is not chewy and this met the criteria!
As we anticipated the Tasting Platter to be a big dish we only ordered one main to share, the Spiced Pork Fillet ($29.90) from the weekly specials menu. The Spiced Pork Fillet is seasoned with garlic, cumin and paprika, and served with baby potato, spinach and raisin salad, tossed with an apple blue cheese dressing. We were wary of the blue cheese dressing (not a big fan) but the blue cheese taste did not dominate but only added to flavor the potato and spinach. Phew, I would not have been able to take the dish otherwise. The pork fillet portion was very generous as well. We made a good choice!
Not wanting to miss out on desserts, we ordered the Trio of homemade desserts consisting of a mini sticky date pudding, mini chocolate pudding and mini apple crumble ($9.90). I actually saw a photo of this trio previously and was looking forward to this part of the meal the most. Unashamed dessert lover I am 🙂 The price for this trio is very reasonable as well! 3 x desserts for only $9.90!
I thought the sticky date pudding would be the star for me (I love sticky date pudding!) but the chocolate pudding turned out to be the one that caught my attention. It was super moist and dripping with an addictive chocolate sauce, I could lick it clean! The taste of the dates in the sticky date pudding was a bit too prominent for my liking so it didn’t tickle my fancy. I’m very picky when it comes to sticky date pudding!
About this time we started to hear crooning to a few 80s and 90s love songs and found out that Wednesday is karaoke night at the Craftsman! How cool is that! It’s rare to find an open karaoke stage in restaurants nowadays. Looked like lots of fun!
Subsequently we were informaed that the Craftsman has events and specials occurring weekly with a live duo playing on Saturday nights, a DJ on Friday nights and Billy T’s Karaoke on Wednesday nights which we experienced during our meal. Nightly food specials always run between Sunday to Thursday with $18 all day roast on Sunday, Rib-alicious night on Monday, $18 rump steak on Tuesday, $22 seafood night on Wednesday and $18 curry night on Thursday. Something for everyone!
Thanks to the Craftsman for the lovely invitation and allowing me to discover something different in my foodie adventure. Love what you guys are doing, now if only I can muster up the courage to sing at one of those karaoke nights :p