The Holdy - New menu launch in the Sailor Jerry beer garden

The Holdfast Hotel - 83 Brighton Road, GLENELG SA 5045

Enjoying a refreshing beverage in the sunshine is one of summer’s simple pleasures. Turning in from busy Brighton Road, I (Dani) didn't expect the large outdoor area, which waited behind the grey stone walls of The Holdy (Holdfast Hotel if you’re being formal). The open space of their Sailor Jerry -inspired beer garden is bathed in natural light and is the perfect place to settle in for a relaxed afternoon session. There are plenty of booths and long tables spread across the area, and if you’ve been soaking up the sun at nearby Glenelg beach all day, you can take a break from the UV and head inside to chill in the modern bistro area.

Drinks in the Bistro

Celebrating their proximity to the seaside, the Holdy’s new menu has embraced the nautical and delivers fresh and flavoursome dishes, which are a touch of class above your average pub meal. The majority of their menu is also designed to share, which is always a good excuse to fill up one of the long wooden tables with a variety of tasty options - exactly what we planned to do today.  On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited to The Holdy and all food and beverages were provided on behalf of The Holdy.

Tapas Plate $20

We start with some classic tapas – spicy chorizo, tangy pickled South Australian (SA) squid and pesto arancini, which pack a flavour bomb under their crisp crumbed shell. The serving sizes are generous and I’m impressed by how tender the squid is, as it can often get a little tough when not carefully prepared.

Chilled Prawn Cutlets $18

Next up is a revival of a 70’s classic with a juicy prawn cocktail. The chef warns us that a considerable amount of Sailor Jerry has been used in the cocktail sauce and it gives a piquant lift to each bite.

Blue Cheese Soufflé $14

Rich in moorish blue cheese flavour, but light and airy in texture, the blue cheese soufflé is everything my Francophile heart could desire. Served with a simple side salad of crisp lettuce, the buttery soufflé hides a melting core of cheesy goodness.

Chicken Pizza $18

Our first main is a crispy-based pizza, sassily named ‘Nothing but a Chicken Thang’. A step above your average BBQ chicken offering, the Holdy’s BBQ sauce contains Kraken rum and combination of spice, salt and sweetness sets my taste buds dancing.

Fettuccini Marinara $28

The fettuccini marinara has a generous amount of local seafood tossed between the long strands of pasta. Thick pieces of squid, mussels, prawns and fish peek out from between the long ribbons of fettuccini. The creamy sauce is quite light and allows the seafood to take the spotlight, though I feel that a little more garlic or lemon would have helped to liven up this dish.

Kracken BBQ Chicken Breast $26

If pizza isn’t what you’re craving, you can still enjoy the Kraken BBQ sauce on the Holdy’s Kraken BBQ Chicken. Extra crunchy golden potatoes and lightly sautéed green beans share the plate with slices of tender chicken breast which have been drizzled with the caramelised sauce.

Feel Good Salad $20

For something which looks simple, I’m surprised by how robust the flavours are in the Feel Good Salad. The Israeli couscous has been cooked in a vegetable stock and the dressing is made from a roasted beetroot reduction which gives the dish an earthy depth. It’s quite pretty, with the jewel tones of the roast pumpkin and beetroot contrasting nicely with the salty feta and pine nuts. If you’re vegan, the kitchen is happy to cater for dietary requirements and can remove the feta for you.

Bedrock Pork Ribs $65

The platter of Bedrock Pork Ribs is definitely something I would recommend ordering when you will be sharing! Huge glistening racks of slow braised pork are served with chilli and BBQ sauces on the side. We easily cut it apart with just a butter knife and the slow roasted meat just falls away from the bone.

Seafood Platter $60

I’m a huge seafood fan, and it was great to see the the Holdy’s Seafood platter kept things simple, fresh and light – not a crumbed, battered or fried item added. Again, a dish I would recommend ordering to share, the platter comes with 6 plump oysters, smoked salmon, prawns, pickled octopus and a blue swimmer crab. The Holdy has made a point of using local produce and the quality is evident. I also appreciate that they give us scented wipes to clean up with, as you really need to get hands on with the shellfish to make the most of the platter.

Dessert Tasting Plate

No matter how many courses I am fed, I always have room for dessert! We are given a tasting platter which showcases some of the Holdy’s new options, which includes a vegan coconut panna cotta, a delicate whipped baileys mousse and chocolate brownie topped with decadent dark chocolate ganache and drunken cranberries.

The beer garden area is really family friendly and the space can easily cater for large groups and functions. If you’re seeking some sunshine out west and looking for a place to settle in for the afternoon, it’s definitely worth your while to head into the Holdy to enjoy their laid-back vibe.

Holdfast Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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