Promoted as the largest rum bar in Australia, this atmospheric drinking spot has been designed to attract both the seasoned rum drinker and those curious to taste the unique flavours of rum from around the world.
I was brought up as a rum drinker and do love a Bundy and coke, but there's much more to excite the palate here with a rum list that includes some of the world's most rare and exclusive rums.
Taking pride of place in a locked cabinet is a bottle of the exclusive Havana Club Maximo – one of six bottles available in Australia. This premium product is the pinnacle of rums available in Australia.
The Maximo bottle is housed in a stunning glass cabinet centred in the bar and it sits opposite the limited release Bacardi 150th Anniversary bottle. The Brekky Creek is lucky to have two of the Bacardi 150th Anniversary rum bottles out of six publicly available in Australia.
The newly-renovated bar includes rum that even scotch drinkers would appreciate. Habitation St Etienne with a single malt finish is a popular choice.
Unique to the bar is the hotel’s very own spiced rum, which involves infusing Bundaberg Rum with a range of delicious flavours. I sampled this 'Fair Dinkum' brew neat. It was a smooth drop with interesting hints of roasted wattle, gum leaf, dried banana, mango and pineapple, amongst others. I liked it.
K2 also tried a couple of neat rums but I suspect he'll be sticking close to the coke next time.
The Substation No.41 Bar claims to be the only venue in Australia that serves rum off the wood with Bundaberg Rum which draws in the flavour of a French oak barrel. Exclusively commissioned for the Brekky Creek, the lovely subtle oak flavours enhance the Bundaberg Rum for a truly unique twist on this classic flavour.
The bar is headed by the Brekky Creek’s rum expert Stuart Griffith who shares his passion and knowledge of the distinct rum flavours and how they vary from region to region.
Patrons can pick a rum of their choice from the shelf or they can be guided by Stu’s Selections.
Originally the Substation No.41 Rum Bar was a disused electricity substation building on the Breakfast Creek Hotel site.
The building had not been used since the seventies and had remained derelict.
Renovated again in October 2012, it features an 11.9 metre long Iron Bark timber bar, which once supported the overnight storage bin at the old CSR Sugar Refinery at nearby Teneriffe.
The Substation Rum Bar features nine stunning wooden beams running vertically along the back bar, salvaged and refurbished from the Townsville Wharf. Each beam measures approximately four metres in length.
It has nine levels of wooden shelving with dark leather Winchester backing, all lit to produce a spectacular amber glow at night.
And when you've finished trying the rums, the Breakfast Creek's new succulent 500 gram dry-aged rib fillets, competitively priced at $45 each, will more than fix your hunger.
As you walk into the Spanish Garden restaurant, you'll see a large cabinet displaying the meat as it ages. I'm used to meat that is a rich red colour and is decidedly soft. The meat in the cabinet is dark and looks hard with a crust on the outside.
According to the experts the finished rib fillet, which has been aged for 60 days on the bone, is incredibly flavoursome and tender. Commonplace 40 years ago, this storage method has staged a comeback due to its flavour enhancing qualities.
Breakfast Creek Hotel Manager Sam Gullo said “Dry-aging beef is the natural way of enhancing flavour and tenderness of the meat. The longer the beef is aged, the more it allows the enzymes to break it down, tenderising the meat.
So what was it like? I can vouch for the tenderness and flavour of this steak and also the quality of the fresh bucket of plump, tender prawns that we also enjoyed. While the dry aged steaks are new, the traditional Brekky Creek accompaniments of salad and chips with a choice of sauces remain.
Bottom line: Dry aged beef is in a class of its own.
Best tip: Try the Fair Dinkum rum neat and enjoy the flavours.
Breakfast Creek Hotel
Disclaimer: Ed+bK and partner were guests of the Breakfast Creek Hotel for this meal.