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Flavour Report with Derek Goforth: Weighing up the pros and cons of family meal at The Murchison Tavern

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Dishes from the Murchison Tavern.
Camera IconDishes from the Murchison Tavern. Credit: Derek Goforth

Another week, another celebration bidding farewell to a family member embarking on their travels.

So as usual, we set out in search of a special place to commemorate the occasion and document our latest flavour experience.

The Murchison Tavern was on our list of unexplored venues, making it the perfect time for a big family meal.

It’s hard not to notice the “Murch” prominently situated on Chapman Road. While some still refer to it as the Camel Bar, to many, it’s a regular spot to enjoy a quick drink and some decent food.

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Parking is ample, but beware of potential fines for “free parking” if you don’t have a ticket. Seating options abound, with choices available both indoor and outdoor.

Our selection of dishes included pulled pork bao buns, pork bites, onion rings, and a Moroccan spiced roast pumpkin salad. With a total cost just over $80, including a few soft drinks, we found the portion sizes to offer decent value for money.

To be direct, our dining experience was a mixed bag, featuring many positives but a few negatives.

The Murchison Tavern
Camera IconThe Murchison Tavern Credit: Derek Goforth

Starting with the less favourable aspects, the pork belly bites were disappointingly chewy. We anticipated crisp pork belly with a robust pork flavour, but it fell short in every aspect. While the apple jus added some flavour, it couldn’t compensate for the texture of the main dish.

The salad, despite not mentioning rocket or leaves in the description, prominently featured them. About three-quarters of the salad consisted of leaves, making it a bit monotonous after the 20th bite of rocket. The small amount of pumpkin, cheese and onion didn’t provide enough variety.

On the brighter side, the onion rings were a standout. Crispy, flavourful and fresh, they were perfect on their own, though the accompanying sauce was a nice addition. There were plenty of rings to enjoy.

The three pork bao buns were also delightful, featuring tender meat, fluffy buns and a tangy sauce that complemented each other well. Even the addition of carrot, chilli and coriander provided a nice layer of texture and flavour.

Would we recommend the Murch? On balance, yes. The positives outweighed the negatives in this case. While we might choose different dishes next time, the spacious venue, diverse seating options and the addition of the three great dishes make it a place we would consider revisiting in the future.

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