It felt a little strange approaching the Osborne Village Motor Inn during the day, considering previous journeys there happened well after dark.
Home to The Zoo and Ozzy’s, it’s mostly known as a sticky, grungy, loud music venue, so it’s no surprise that I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of food at the hotel’s restaurant, the Osborne Village Café.
The décor exudes a homey, diner-esque feel, in which sweatshirts and a lazy read feel common place. There’s a soft ‘70s green everywhere - on booths, shutters and hanging potted plants (the textured white walls with scarce art are a nice contrast).
After my friend and I order bottomless coffees ($1.75) and peruse the menu (which is easy to navigate considering the restaruant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options at any time of the day), one delicious option that jumped out was the peanut butter/bacon/banana sandwhich, AKA The Elvis ($6). If you’re not suffering from the “thank you very munchies” go for “The Hipster” ($10), a fluffy omelette consisting of egg whites (or whole if you prefer) folded onto cheddar, avocado, mushrooms and curry-crisped chickpeas. The Café was able to completely transform my omelette eggs into something unforgettably creamy and soft.
Forgettable, though, were the hash browns that accompanied the breakfast dishes, as they weren’t browned or seasoned to a memorable state. Fortunately, a side of fruit usually accompanies dishes or is available to order.
At $6 to $10, the breakfast options are able to comfortably accommodate most student wallets, with lunch was just as dollar friendly and delicious at prices ranging from $7.50 to $10.
Our choice of veggie option, The Squash ($10), includes tomato basil, feta cheese, mushrooms and squash spaghetti, all placed underneath a layer of baked mozzarella cheese. The flavours complimented each other in an unexpected yet delicious way. I was full after half a portion.
Pink Floyd was playing as my date and I decided to order the “Jäger Crisp” for dessert – a virtual dream that actually comes true. Warm crumbly apple crisp with two scoops of house made Jägermeister ice cream! There was enough to share, but who would want to?
Overall, the experience can be described as comfortable, affordable and just plain tasty. Who knew food this good was hiding at The Zoo?