Our daughter-in-law ventured her opinion that we were a tad too old to be frequenting what she thought was a young persons' place, but we went ahead and booked for a Saturday night meal. It was good, and we didn't feel out of place.
I was able to tell the waitperson that we'd been there once before; in 1962 to be exact, when it was then Bonners Hotel and under 6.00pm closing. My schoolmate was managing the place and it was our first wedding anniversary. We got home at 4.00am the next morning. The original pressed-tin ceilings are still in place.
It was a speedy meal this time. The place is smallish and has just two rooms; the main bar/dining room with four conventional tables seating four+ diners, and a high table for eight. The outside room is just slightly smaller and open to the elements at the eaves for the smokers who get to enjoy the open fire. The lights are so dim we oldies can't read the menus. We had the worst table in the place, right by the servery door and next to the sliding doors to the garden bar - a fierce draught every time they slide open.
The staff were very pleasant. The food is Japanese tapas and absolutely delicious. We cobbled together some favourite dishes (tempura, chicken, polenta fries etc) with a good-quality wine, all served served promptly and expertly.
Okay, it's really a bar which has very good light meals. It has live music which we were too early to experience. The buzz of the other diners showed it was a place where people really enjoy themselves.
One jarring note was the sizable painting of a nude, kneeling Marilyn Monroe defaced with a napalm bomb in her midriff right opposite where I sat; the puzzle of it quite put me off my food. When I quizzed the barman about it's provenance (the only painting in the dining area) he had no idea except maybe it was something the owner liked.
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