Positioned high on the hill, overlooking a stretch of Tasmania’s Port Esperance, Dover RSL has a million dollar view from the Bayview dining room.
An RSL is not my normal dining choice, but it’s good to keep grounded and best to keep options open when there’s not a lot of choice in a small town.
It’s got that typical pub look with a large bar, which props up the locals with a frieze of photos, the ghosts of presidents past.
What’s on the wine list?
The barman looks at me nervously when I ask him if they stock local gins. The answer is no, but they do have a wine list with which includes local Tasmanian wines by the glass and some very fine drops by a premium Tasmanian maker Josef Chromy, unfortunately not by the glass.
No problem, I’m soon very happily slipping my premium Chardonnay when suddenly the lights go out. In the RSL tradition, there’s a minute’s silence to remember the dead at 6 pm. Everyone stands in silence with heads bowed as we remember them, except for a little boy who says loudly, “What happens now?”
First in, best fed
Eyeing off the menu special, which is local Trevally, beer-battered with chips. I’m urging K2 to the Bayview Dining room, which opens right after the pledge, but he’s more interested in finishing a beer, or two. By the time we place an order, there’s only one serve of the fish left, so K2 gets beef korma.
The trevally comes thickly beer battered but so fresh and deliciously tender. The chips are perfect, and I’m in a happy place.
K2 refuses to comment on his beef korma but the red he chooses to accompany it is a little flat and old.
We dine with a very young Queen Elizabeth benevolently overseeing the proceedings from the wall and a soundtrack that reminds me of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert.
As Gloria Gaynor promises, I will survive, but more surprisingly, I’m totally enjoying this very real, down-to-earth, no pretensions, dining experience.
My only regret is that I didn’t have room for the apple and rhubarb crumble. I bet it came with custard and actually looked like a crumble instead of something deconstructed that just tastes like a crumble.
Dover is a small town in Tasmania’s Far South overlooking the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, which separates mainland Tasmania from Bruny Island. This area is home to the Tahune Airwalk and the underground dolomite caverns of Hastings Caves which I’ll be writing about soon. Find out more about the Huon Valley here.
I’m staying at the delightful Driftwood Cottages’ Beach House with another enviable view over the channel. More about this later too.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Tourism Tasmania to explore the Huon Valley but paid for her own meal.