Ever wondered why it is called a gastro pub? The term was first coined in 1991 to describe a pub that not only focuses on good beer, but quality food – essentially a ‘restaurant in a pub’.
Gastro pubs usually have an extensive menu, great cocktails and entertainment, bridging the gap between fine dining and classic hotels offering the same standards of eating as a higher-end restaurant but in a more relaxed and informal vibe.
Here are five gastro pubs you need to put on your dining list:
Experience great country hospitality in the Scenic Rim, along with gastro-pub fare with flair at The Roadvale Hotel
on Roadvale Road. The region’s first gastro pub, this newly renovated venue is the place to head for an icy beer and a menu to appease even the most ravenous diner; stop in at the bar before heading indoors or out to dine in the family and pet-friendly beer garden.
Expect a rustic vibe with saddles, stacks of firewood and polished wood floors as you mix and mingle with friends over entrées like potato and leek soup with charred sourdough; before crispy skin barramundi, creamed leeks, silver beet, corn and tomato salsa and finger lime.
Modern Indian cuisine inspired by Punjab Royalty is what Melburnians find on the plate at The Black Prince
on Bourke Street in the heart of the city. Expect an evening of memories to last a lifetime at this new restaurant, where a curved wooden bar invites chilling out on high stools with a cocktail in hand, while green leather booths are ideal for after-work catchups or dinner with your someone special.
Along with Aussie pub classics with an Indian twist such as butter chicken parma, find dishes like Barrah lamb chops – marinated for 48 hours and served with special Punjab sauce – or delve into rib eye steak with chips, lachha onions and Kerala pepper sauce.
Every day is a great day to unwind and dine on innovative pub fare at Tydvil Hotel & Bistro
on Oxide Street in Broken Hill. This iconic outback pub offers warm hospitality and service with a bar, bistro, lounge and alfresco area for balmy days, ideal for soaking up rays with a cold brew in hand, while indoors is rustic with recycled timber tables, wine barrels and sports memorabilia on the walls.
Perhaps order an award-winning gin from Broken Hill Distillery to go with entrées of housemade arancini balls, prawn twisters or salt and pepper squid; then devour perfectly cooked sous vide Porterhouse steak, with mushroom sauce, salad and chops, or grilled barramundi, chips and vegetables.
Taste nature on the plate at historic and lovingly restored Watervale Hote
l on Main North Road in the Clare Valley. This beautiful old pub is the ideal venue to share a family occasion whether in the bar, lounge, private dining room, or a sunny spot in the beer garden; where a huge paved courtyard allows for soaking up the sun with an icy brew in hand.
A mix of country hospitality and contemporary fare awaits, with much of the produce from the Penobscot organic farm; expect dishes like kingfish ceviche, chilli, coriander, spring onion and mint sorbet, followed by herb-crumbed lamb Milanese, charred lemon, fennel, cranberry and walnut salad.
Those seeking family-friendly bistro fare with flair head to Kyneton RSL
on Mollison Street. This Kyneton venue boasts a sports bar to watch live action and an inviting dining room where friends and family gather in warm and welcoming surrounds of exposed brick and blond wood table settings.
Excite the senses with starters of sesame crumbed chicken tenders, salad, plum sauce and chips, while mains like corned beef girello, creamy mash, butter-braised cabbage and mustard sauce are sure to tempt, along with pan-seared chicken breast, creamy brie and thyme sauce.