New book reveals what makes a great pub meal
By TOBY WALKER
YAMBA'S Pacific Hotel might be a pub with one of the best views around, but it can now claim to have one of the best counter meals.
Well that's according to the authors of a new book, anyway. The Fountain on the Mountain's menu gets the once over by author David Carr and photographer Ned Meldrum for their soon-tobe-released tome on pub fare, Counter Meal: Recipes and stories from great Australian pubs.
After a chat over a meal at their local, the pair decided to make their dream a reality, a dream that would let them tour some of Australia's finest pubs and get paid for it.
The pair's research took them to around 30 pubs across the country and they claim their choices were based on word-of-mouth recommendations and 'whispered' stories of tucked away favourites.
But the book is not just a culinary affair.
It's also a travel guide of sorts, with the excerpt on the Pacific Hotel beginning with a brief account of last year's 'controversy' and 'media hoo-ha' that centred on the 'the ugly man of Yamba' ? the Balinese fertility statue which stands out- side Yamba Pawnbrokers.
But while the statue seems to remain long in the memories of some, the Pacific Hotel's fresh seafood and colourful history also rate a sizeable mention.
"We chose establishments for a couple of reasons," Mr Carr said.
"While food was the obvious starter, perhaps more importantly, each pub also had to have a certain feel, an indefinable quality that transcends the history, punters and decor. We looked for that all-important binding agent that brings the pieces together and makes it work ? the people running the show."
The book will be officially launched in Sydney on Au- gust 5.