One hump or two?

August 3, 2009 · 3 comments

The Camel Bar has been open in Geraldton since 2005 but I only recently had my first meal there while in town for my sister’s birthday. I’ve actually tried to eat there before on previous Gero sojourns but have been turned away as the kitchen was closing (how outrageous of me to try and eat lunch at 2pm) or haven’t been able to get a table (apparently quite a difficult task on Mondays or Tuesdays as all meals are 20% off). I was therefore not really counting on actually eating there when us five girls turned up for a leisurely Saturday lunch, and was readying myself to run the Gero gauntlet of trying to find somewhere for lunch that is both willing to offer a table and the kitchen is still serving. Happily however The Camel Bar ticked both of these boxes when we got there, so we took a seat and perused the menu under the watchful eyes of many camel statues, toys and figurines.

As well as this somewhat disconcerting camel collection, The Camel Bar has an incredibly impressive beer selection, offering fifty or sixty different brews from around the world. I would have loved to suck down a nice cold La Fin du Monde with my lunch, but instead looked after my flu-recovering body with some nice healthy water for hydration and a not-so-healthy Pepsi Max for some fizzy carcinogenic energy. Given that I was driving it was probably wise to not enjoy a nice cold La Fin du Monde anyway since it is 9% (yep, those Quebecois know how to brew a strong ale).

bThe menu offers a good selection of pub grub at a reasonable price, which was particularly relevant given how some of us were still feeling somewhat ripped off from our Bella Vista experience the previous night. All the usual suspects are there (steak sandwich, chicken parma, fish and chips etc) as well as a good range of salads that serve as mains. They also have a wood fired pizza oven, and offer a range of pizza choices which I have heard good things about.

Knowing that I would be enjoying my sister’s delicious homemade pizzas for dinner that night, I didn’t even consider this option and got busy sussing out the rest of the menu. We were all feeling quite indecisive and took our sweet time choosing our dishes, but it was a nice day and there were some interesting bogans and hoons walking and driving past so we were kept entertained during our decision making.

Decisions were finally reached, with both my sister and I choosing the Chicken and Mediterranean Salad “tossed with roasted capsicum, Spanish onion, pumpkin, semi-dried tomato, kalamata olives, bocconcini and honey grain mustard dressing on a mixed lettuce bed” ($19), our cousin M going for the a meatless version of the pizza special of the day with “chargrilled eggplant, roasted onion, capsicum and pumpkin, salami, pepperoni and feta” ($16), M choosing the Grilled Lamb Salad “tossed with mixed lettuces, coriander, tomato, Spanish onion, beansprouts, capsicum and cucumber with a Thai style dressing” ($19) and R getting the Scallop and Spinach Salad of “seared scallops on a bed of spinach, red capsicum, beansprouts with sweet chilli, ginger, coriander and plum sauce” ($21) and also some garlic, herb and cheese pizza ($9) for the table to share.

Garlic, herb and cheese pizza ($9)

Although I didn’t try any of this pizza, the mmmms coming from those who did would suggest that it was very tasty. It certainly looked and smelt like a nice simple plate of cheesy, garlicky goodness.

Chicken and Mediterranean Salad "tossed with roasted capsicum, Spanish onion, pumpkin, semi-dried tomato, kalamata olives, bocconcini and honey grain mustard dressing on a mixed lettuce bed" ($19)

The Chicken Mediterranean Salad served with the dressing on the side ($19)

My sister and I both enjoyed our salads. There was a generous amount of tender chicken pieces, and the rest of the salad was very fresh. I tend to eat around fresh onion in salads as I can find it a bit overpowering and am concerned at inflicting onion breath on all and sundry, but the sweated onions in this salad were quite sweet and I gobbled them down. I also tend to order my salads with the dressing on the side, as too often I’ve had an otherwise lovely salad ruined by an overzealous dressing application. I was really impressed by the way in which this was done here, as both the honey mustard dressing (which was delicious) and the balsamic glaze used to finish off the dish were given to me on the side, as well as a little jug of a standard vinaigrette (I had a sniff and promptly replaced the lid… it was a little uh..camelly).

A meatless version of the pizza special of the day with "chargrilled eggplant, roasted onion, capsicum and pumpkin, salami, pepperoni and feta" ($16)

By all accounts the pizza was fresh and tasty on a good, crisp base.

Dressing-free version of the Grilled Lamb Salad "tossed with mixed lettuces, coriander, tomato, Spanish onion, beansprouts, capsicum and cucumber with a Thai style dressing" ($19)

Another fresh, tasty salad. I was lucky enough to have a few of the lamb morsels, and agreed with M that they were both flavoursome and tender. It was surprising that she got so many pieces of lamb in this salad, given that it only cost $1 more than her Bella Vista green salad of the previous night and yet also included coriander, onion, beansprouts, capsicum, cucumber and the lamb. Perhaps the Camel Bar has a little vegie garden and lambery (pretty sure such a word doesn’t exist, but it conjures up nice lamby images) out the back. I’m sure camels and lambs could live together in harmony.

Scallop and Spinach Salad of "seared scallops on a bed of spinach, red capsicum, beansprouts with sweet chilli, ginger, coriander and plum sauce" ($21)

In a recurring theme of our lunch, this was a fresh salad with a generous amount of scallops and a well balanced dressing.

So, I’m happy to say that we all enjoyed our meals as well as each others’ fabulous company, and can recommend The Camel Bar restaurant for a good, fresh meal at an affordable price.

We had all actually been at The Camel Bar the previous night following our meal at Bella Vista and prior to the rest of the girls hitting the nightclub (I got myself home to a post-goat snack, my fleecy pyjamas and a nice, warm bed) and I can also recommend the actual bar if you’re into bad cover bands and feeling like you’re a hundred years old as you’re surrounded by people you think should be tucked in tight after Fat Cat tells them it’s bedtime.

The Camel Bar
20 Chapman Road, Geraldton
Phone: 08 9965 5500
Fax: 08 9965 5588
Email: thecamelbar@westnet.com.au
Hours: Lunch 12-2 pm; Dinner 6-9 pm (20% discount Mondays and Tuesdays)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 4, 2009 at 11:02 am

Oh all of those gorgeous salads are making my mouth water! I admit I don’t tend to eat a lot of them during Winter so I really miss them. They look great and I do the same by ordering dressing on the side.

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef August 5, 2009 at 7:08 am

I don’t seem to make salads at home during winter but still order them out occasionally, especially at lunchtime if the sun is shining and you can pretend it is summer!

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