Review – Corner Cafe (International Hotel) – Port Pirie (South Australia)


Bright yellow on the main drag - you can't miss it!

Based in the bright yellow International Hotel on Port Pirie’s main drag it wasn’t my first choice to have dinner, but trying to eat after 8pm on a Monday night my choices were the Corner Cafe or McDonalds. However, there seemed to be a lot of people inside and well, as I said, there wasn’t really an alternative.

It turned out that a 50th Wedding Anniversary party was underway and as such the kitchen was still open (not to mention that the guests had brought in their own instruments and sound system and played golden oldies for us!). The menu was basic pub fare, schnitzels, steaks etc and all meals came with unlimited access to their salad and vegetable bar. I ended up going for a Beef Schnitzel – I liked that they didn’t pretend it was Veal. I got a huge (ie they had to fold it to fit it on the plate) with mushroom sauce for a massive price of $12,90. My dinner companion (who is a vegetarian) didn’t have much variety, and settled on Vegetable Noodle StirFry. No bowl of noodles, it was a normal dinner plate covered (and I do mean covered and heaped high) of Udon noodles, some sort of brown but yummy sauce and miles of fresh veges (including peas still in their pods which I guess was their equivalent to Snow Peas.

The bain marie was a whole other thing. You could have eaten a meal just from that. Lots of fresh lettuce (not just iceberg but a solid cafe mix), tomato, tinned beetroot, tinned pineapple, cucumber, carrot, sliced bread (just a white supermarket loaf), potato salad, apple salad, pasta salad, two different kinds of coleslaw and then we had the veges! Potato bake, roast carrot and pumpkin, greens (peas and beans), and good lord I can’t remember the rest. There were 8(!!!) trays on each side each brimming with good old fashioned food.

My schnitchzel was the same as a $20 one I would buy at a pub back home proporting to be veal, however the crumbs weren’t fine, suggesting they probably made their own bread crumbs but oh so yummy – cooked to a perfect golden brown. The mushroom sauce was just gravy with some mushrooms in it but it was great! My companion’s stirfry was way too much to eat and she couldn’t even finish it with picking out the veges, though she did say it was just an average one – nothing like you get in China Town or a real restaurant, but it was like making it at home. From memory I think her meal was about $14. With two drinks (softdrinks) our bill was in the low $30’s.

Pluses:
Huge servings and everything (excepted the tinned items) was incredibly fresh.
Very friendly staff.
Ridiculously cheap.
Incredibly yummy in a home-cooked kind of way.
Super central – being bright yellow it is hard to miss.
Order at the bar but food came out fast.
Clean – very, very clean.

Minuses:
Not a lot of variety.
The decor was a bit bland.

This place isn’t a restaurant, it is a pub that sells food and calls itself a cafe (I did see a cappachino machine but as I don’t drink coffee I can’t comment on its quality). For the price and quality the Corner Cafe is great value for money. We both ate much more than we had intended, trying to fit everything in. If you find yourself in historic Port Pirie there are a few things to remember. Don’t drink the water (seriously as it is a health risk, especially for young children) and stop off at Corner Cafe.
(I stayed at the John Pirie Motor Inn just on the edge of the CBD (chortle) and it was clean, safe and they do a fine cooked breakfast.

#threesatisfiedpandas

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2 Responses to “Review – Corner Cafe (International Hotel) – Port Pirie (South Australia)”

  1. Taezar (@Taezar) (@Taezar) (@Taezar) Says:

    RT @howmanypandas: Regional SA review: Corner Cafe (International Hotel) – Port Pirie (South Australia) « howmanypandas.com http://bit.ly/hCgB3n

  2. K B Says:

    Just to clarify – Port Pirie tap water is safe to drink but like many industrial towns the rain water may contain high doses of lead.

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