It’s a venue that has gone through a lot of changes over the years. What was once a rather uninspiring pub has been renovated to become a mecca for the inner city crowd. We were invited as guests to sample what they were up to now.
I’d been in before. It has served in the past as a pleasant spot for a cheeky pint when waiting for the bus while the beer garden down the laneway was often suggested as a meeting point by friends. My interactions with the kitchen were minimal though, I’d enjoyed a couple of quick eats but it was never really on the radar, so to speak.
The space inside is quite welcoming. Soft leathers and dim lighting have created an intimate dining area. Staff are minimal but there when needed and unobtrusive.
The reason for the invite was to check out the new menu and give our thoughts. Out was a tome laden with every imaginable parmi combination under the sun and in was a new and pared down look that promised local, fresh and seasonal eats, with just a couple of parmi combinations retained as a fond nod to the previous generation.
Entrees are advertised as share plates and came out quickly. A plate of steamed greens was executed nicely with the addition of soy and sesame. Bao buns were generously overflowing with Scotsdale pork and pretty much a meal in themselves. A salad of pumpkin and leaves was spiked beautifully with flavours from chorizo, semi dried tomatoes, walnuts, and curd.
A main of pork belly contained one of the biggest serves of that protein I’d seen, oh so tender and flavoursome as well. Matched with roasted toffee apple and bok choy it worked ingeniously well although the addition of thyme was somewhat confused on the palate against the Asian flavours. I’d still recommend it as a go to for anyone dining there.
The lamb rump was also more than generous, a well cooked and tender mountain of meat. Presented alongside some Greek influenced sides of potatoes, salad and tzatziki it personified the modern pub meal.
Dessert? Well, no room for dessert as the meals were indeed large but the menu did offer some great choices and the kitchen is open late for those that may like to pop in just for.
It is definitely a step up. The flavours and ingredients are fresh and there’s a genuine push to promote local ingredients. The drinks list contains some outstanding drops encouraging a long stay. For a hearty and honest feed in the CBD I’d definitely recommend