What a weekend of footy that was…first the Cowboys and Eels went to war on Friday night and then it was the Rabbitohs and Panthers on Saturday – both bruising NRL encounters that produced winners worthy of a Grand Final spot on Sunday, October 2.
As we prepare ourselves for the battle of the Western Suburbs, bear in mind how excited Parramatta fans must be as the Eels try to break the longest premiership drought in NRL history – it has been 36 years since they last held the Provan-Summons trophy aloft.
Whoever you are barracking for on Sunday, make sure to find the right spot to down a bevvy or two with mates to celebrate the occasion. Here are five of our top picks to get your NRL groove on:
Head to Basement Brewhouse
on Greenfield Parade in Bankstown for all things burgers and craft beer. Located in Bankstown Sports, this restaurant and microbrewery is the hot spot to catch up with mates for an after-work drink from 30 taps featuring a variety of craft beers and ciders, along with wine and cocktails on tap, a delicious menu and gourmet delicatessen.
Perhaps chill out on a couch overlooking the keg room or in the sunken lounge surrounded by barrels and your own TV as you cheer on your team and graze on a Brewhouse meat and cheese board of cured pork salumi, local cheese, chutney, pickles, crackers and dried fruit.
Local legends have their favourite stool and newcomers are treated to craft beer on tap at friendly neighbourhood hot spot Concrete Boots Bar
on Burnley Street in Richmond. With a name inspired by Melbourne’s turn-of-the-century gangster past, Concrete Boots serves up what’s quality and what’s local in fun and funky surrounds on the former site of Dizzy’s Jazz Club.
Join the action on Sunday with an ice-cold brew from regularly rotating local and independent craft beers on tap to go with crispy fried prawn tacos, with crunchy coleslaw and bang bang sauce; or wrap your mouth around a Squizzy Taylor beef burger, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard.
Where there’s a seat you can eat at iconic Melbourne pub the Prahran Hotel
on High Street in the heart of Prahran. This charming hotel has been serving thirsty locals and visitors since the mid-1800s and now features 17 over-sized concrete pipes stacked to the skyline; designed to emulate a stack of beer kegs, the pipes double as an external façade and internal dining space, lined with leather banquette seating ideal for small or large groups.
Start your pre-match meal with half shell scallops, smoked potato and bottarga; before tackling larger plates such as pan-fried gnocchi, wild mushroom ragu and truffle pecorino, or fish and chips, dressed leaves, sauce gribiche and grilled lemon.
A touch of royal treatment awaits diners at the iconic Merewether Hotel, The Prince
on Morgan Street. There's a breath of fresh air for this local favourite with new ownership and management pumping new life into the hotel, with extensive renovations from the kitchen to balcony bar, sports bar and dining room. Set over two levels, The Prince is home to Newcastle’s impressive function and event space for occasions from cocktail parties to intimate dinners; while enjoying craft beers and boutique wines, along with a modern approach to pub dining.
Scrum down with your mates on Sunday while sharing Southern fried chicken wings with blue cheese sauce and pickles; or devour thin-crust pizzas such as Italian pork and fennel sausage, with fior di latte, Napolitana sauce, basil and chilli oil.
It’s always a good time to eat, drink and play at WestsideHQ
on Clewley Street in Corinda. Located right next to Corinda Railway Station, WestsideHQ offers premium gaming, great function spaces, regular live entertainment and a quality dining menu; located on level two, the restaurant presents extensive lunch and dinner choices, with something to tempt all tastes.
Catch all the tries live in the sports bar before defeating hunger pangs with low and slow-cooked pork ribs and wings, with housemade smoky BBQ sauce, chips and coleslaws; best washed down with a beer or glass of red.
For more venues near you to cheer on your team, click here