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Friday, February 13, 2009

Crocodile Farm Hotel, Ashfield

$10 rump steak special
with mushroom sauce, salad and chips

You wouldn't expect to find a swanky bar in downtown Ashfield, but here we are at the Crocodile Farm Hotel and the recent revamp is obvious. Upstairs there's a flood of natural light, a balcony with giant plasma screen, booth seating and sleek white tables and chairs. It seems a world away from Shanghai Night across the road, but that's part of the fun of the inner west - a constantly changing chaos of old and new.

Whilst the dining room isn't particularly busy, service is painstakingly slow tonight. The kitchen team of two is on the ball but it takes the multi-tasking waiter (determinedly attending to the floor and the bar) a full five minutes to attend to the "ding" of our meals ready and waiting on the counter. A couple next to us wait five minutes just to get a menu.

$10 rump steak special
with Dianne sauce, salad and chips

Thankfully the food is affordable and quite delicious. Veruca Salt and Speedy both order the rump steak special, char-grilled to a pleasing hue, the flesh juicy and moist in the middle. Consistency is a little wanting though. B1 arrives a little while later and whilst her steak is fine, B2's is an extremely thick fillet that is more rare than medium well.

The sauces are a little thin, but the chips more than make up for it. They're crisp and golden, almost crumbed or lightly floured on the outside, giving them a resounding satisfying crunch.

Roast lamb loin $15.50
with rosemary potato and Mediterranean vegetables

I'd toyed with ordering the Beef and Guinness Pie ($12.50), a behemoth of puff pastry over a dish of beef stew. The salt and pepper calamari ($12.00) , the pan-fried salmon fillet ($15.50) and the beer-battered fish and chips ($12.50) also beckoned, but in the end I order the roast lamb loin.

The lamb is well-rested, reassuringly pink and tender, if a little understated in flavour. Mediterranean vegetables are a mix of beans, eggplant, tomato and onion, and the potatoes have been roasted with plenty of rosemary.

Never smile at a crocodile? You could probably afford to give a little grin at this one.

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Crocodile Farm Hotel on Urbanspoon

Crocodile Farm Hotel
Level 1, 262 Liverpool Road, Ashfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9799 6010

Restaurant open Monday to Saturday 12pm-3pm and 6pm-10pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Ashfield - Ashfield Hotel
Ashfield - Polish Club
Ashfield - Shanghai Night (Jul08) and (Mar06)
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/13/2009 12:02:00 am


  • At 2/12/2009 9:40 pm, Blogger Simon said…

    I drive past that place every day and never thought of it as a foodie destination.

    The lamb cross-section looks kind of odd - well done on the outside and rare in the middle.

  • At 2/13/2009 8:54 am, Blogger shez said…

    oh! the old maccas! i was so upset when i went to shanghai nights and saw a pub in its place (i don't get to ashfield often) but the sight of those chips is starting to make me feel a whole lot better about it :)

  • At 2/13/2009 10:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i now have the never smile at a crocodile song in my head *shakes fist*

  • At 2/13/2009 11:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Incorrectly cooked steaks irk me right off.

    The Food Authority should be out there doing random 'doneness' tests while they are checking food handling and storage issues.

  • At 2/13/2009 10:34 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - I wouldn't go so far as call it a foodie destination, but the meals are quite reasonable and the decor is impressive for Ashfield!

    I did think the slight holes in the outside rim of the lamb looked a little strange, but maybe that was the five-minute delay under the heat lamps. I do prefer my lamb seared on the outside and medium rare in the middle. I was also asked how I wanted it cooked so no real complaints!

    Hi Shez - Wow, you're going back some time! Macca's is now up the escalator at Ashfield Mall but it's been there for a while! The chips were good. Gotta love extra crispy ones!

    Hi Chocolatesuze - lol! You make me laugh!

    Hi Veruca Salt - I don't think Food Authority inspectors have much juristiction when it comes to steak "doneness", although I'm sure you'd strike fear into the hearts of many if you were on the job!

  • At 2/16/2009 11:21 pm, Blogger Kaydee said…

    Hahaha...I have always avoided this place as it was such a dive before the revamp.

    Might have to give it a go, food at the Ashfield Hotel down the road has been pretty ordinary the last couple of times I have been there.

  • At 2/17/2009 12:25 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Kirsten - lol. Yep the Croc has come a long way! Hope you enjoy it. I haven't been to the Ashfield Hotel for ages. I had a look at my last post there and the prices were quite high all things considered!

  • At 2/20/2009 2:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just to clarify, shez, the old maccas site is now Westpac.

    helen, maccas just left - they aren't in the mall at all. And hooray for that.

    and, as an Ashfield drone, i have had the pleasure of dining at the Croc many times (and a couple before it was renovated) and do recomment it. it is far better than the sloppy, lazy and uninspired Ashfield Hotel.

  • At 2/20/2009 10:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh no, I think you misunderstand. I still don't think of it as a foodie destination :)

    You're right in that it does seem somewhat upmarket for Ashfield. Then again, so does the Wests leagues club. Driving down the main road is like asian, asian, more asian, drab, uninspiring, school, ooo shiney!, shabby...

  • At 2/21/2009 8:28 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Barney - I hadn't even noticed that Macca's had gone, altho' admittedly I'm rarely a patron. Good to hear the makeover gets a thumbs-up approval from a Croc Farm regular too.

    Hi Simon - You're right. I caught sight of the Wests Leagues Club on my past it the other day, I did a double-take as well!


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