Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hog's Breath Cafe - Castle Hill

What was meant to be a quick bite to celebrate the birthday of our old yet young youth pastor dragged out to be a long long event at Hog's Breath at Castle Towers on a Tuesday night. Being understaffed, our company of 20 did not help speed up the process of food. Nonetheless, it provided an opportunity for a lot of chatting and a lot a lot a lot of random stuff.

It took possibly more than an hour for the whole table to have food infront of them. Even thought they tried to get us our meals at approximately the same time, there were still a few of us who were finished before a few others even got food. Oh well. Life's tough.

I guess the worst thing was that, after waiting what seemed like eternity for our food, the food quality just wasn't up to scratch. Steaks (both beef and chicken) were overcooked. My "medium" steak turned out to be more on the well-done side of things. Other's "medium rare" ended up probably being a medium to medium-well. But I guess that the sauces (which cost $1.95) made up for the dryness of the meat.

Another criticism was that the waiter (possibly a bit overwhelmed but our group size on a weeknight) did not ask us what sides we wanted (ie. salad or veges, curly chips or mash) and unless we specified ourselves, plates came with fries and veges.

At Hog's Breath, there is the option of ordering the full size, or a "lite" version (which is less meat) which is good when you can't finish huge meals or when you're not too particularly hungry. You can tell which is full and which is lite by the plate - the lite version does not have the funky "Hog's Breath Cafe" on the side. One of my friends ordered the Chicken Parmigiana (lite - $16.50) with default curly fries and veges. The piece of chicken was quite small and shrivelled up and the fries and veges looked more appetising. My friend, however, seemed quite content in finishing her meal (or maybe she just doesn't like wasting food).

Chicken Parmigiana - lite $16.50

Being hungry, another of my friends opted for the Ribs and Steak combo ($32.95) which comprised of a sirloin steak and a half rack of ribs smothered with Hickory smoked BBQ sauce. This looks a bit more filling - but a bit scarce on the ribs compared to other rib or steak joints.

Ribs and Steak combo - $32.95

And my order - the garlic mushroom prime rib (lite - $23.95). Claiming to "slow cook" their steak for atleast 18 hours then searing it up in high temps before it is served, it did contain the consistency in taste and tenderness. It was just consistently overcooked and a bit on the tough side... But I will let this drop - we did have a large crowd, and the kitchen was probably overworked. I have been to this Hog's Breath in the past and experienced good steak. Maybe a hint for next time is to just not come in large groups! The mash, on the other hand, was as perfectly buttery and creamy and fattening - just the way I like it. And salad... mmm... pretty average.

garlic mushroom prime rib - lite $23.95

In all, our party was situated in a semi-alfresco area. We were loud and they didn't complain. The service tried it's best to catch up to our needs. And the food... well... I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and try again another night.

Food - 6/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6/10
Overall - 25/40

Hog's Breath Cafe (Castle Hill branch)
Shop U22
Castle Towers Shopping Centre
Old Northern Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154
Tel: (02) 9659 8700

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