Saturday, May 5, 2012

Union Hotel Brunswick, funnily enough in Brunswick

Where: 109 Union Street, Brunswick

When: 23 April 2012.

Website: (menu page is unfortunately blank at time of writing)

Rating: 4.5/5

Charlotte's delicious steak sandwich and mountain of chips.
The Union Hotel Brunswick - or UHB - has recently become our local.  Normally we head over to the Northcote Social Club on Mondays for their free live music, but this particular Monday had been hijacked by Pond to play an extra (not free) concert after their Sunday night show sold out, so we figured it would be a good opportunity to go and check out the UHB. We were very glad that we did. Outside, it doesn't appear particularly spectacular, but inside it's a smart casual sort of bar, friendly and homely. The beer garden looked great, but unfortunately it was a cold night with showers forecast, so we stayed inside. Even though we went over a bit late (not long before the kitchen closed), the place was still pretty full - we got the second-last table. You may want to book ahead, especially if you've got a large group. We weren't drinking much this particular evening, but the beer selection was good.


Saganaki ($12): A bit pricey but our group of four wanted a saganaki fix before our dinner. There were some other appetising entrée options, including a sausage roll that sounded nice, but we decided to just go with the saganaki. It came out before the mains (unlike some pubs that love to just throw everything at you at once); two healthily large slices of saganaki that divided easily in half so that we each got a satisfying amount of saganaki. It was matched with a generous bowl of olives, which shouldn't have been a problem - but it was. You see, it turned out that I was the only one of us four who actually eats olives. I love them. But there were just a few too many for me to knock off alone without total olive overload; I didn't anticipate so many. Perhaps next time we'll ask for another slice of saganaki instead of the side olives!


Thanks to the lack of an online menu and my own poor memory, I can't recall the price of a couple of the mains. They were around the $15-20 vicinity, though. Usual pub prices.

A parma that tastes much better than it looks - highly recommended!
Chicken parmigiana ($18): There is more to this parma than meets the eye. Luckily, a couple of reviews had prepared me for this, so I wasn't put off by the arrival of a parma with a fair bit of nude schnitzel and not exactly a generous amount of cheese. I assure you: you just don't notice. The chicken is absolutely top quality, crumbed beautifully, and cooked to a delectable tenderness. It is impossible to fault. The ham is very tasty too, some of the best ham I've had on a parma. The napoli sauce could be more and better, but it does the job, and the Swiss cheese punches above its weight, delivering a good taste. As for the sides? The salad ticked all the boxes and the serve of chips was larger than usual. They were a bit hidden under the gigantic parma, which is something I don't tend to like, but they didn't lose any crispiness. I went home very full and very content.

Cape Grim steak sandwich ($20): Charlotte got this on the basis of its name alone. The decision paid off. By the sounds of enjoyment coming from her side of the table, the steak was ideally cooked just like my chicken, the caramelised onion was outstanding, the aioli was on a similar level, and the bun was of good quality. The UHB certainly doesn't skimp on size either: she wasn't sure if she would be able to finish it, but it was too good to go to waste. Of course, this meant some of the chips unfortunately stayed on the plate. I suspect next time we go to the UHB, we might share a main - they are certainly big enough to be a satisfying meal for two - and indulge in another one of the entrées.

Definitely a satisfying serve of fish and chips.
Fish and chips: It's become something of a running joke that a particular friend of ours, whenever he dines with us, orders anything on the meal that I can't eat. So no samples for me! He seemed pretty pleased though, and again, the serving size was quite considerable.

Bangers and mash: I forget what it was actually called on the menu, but that's basically what it was - sausages piled atop mashed potato, with steamed vegetables on the side. Not just any mashed potato either; it contained basil and bacon pieces. The sausages were nice, but the friend who ordered this dish was just in love with the mash. Naturally, we all had to sample it. I'm a fussy bastard when it comes to mashed potato, but yeah, it delivers.

The sausages looking pretty phallic.
I had baked a cake for our group to share for dessert when we returned home, but we were much too full and very content after our meal. So alas, the cake had to wait for another day to be eaten. We didn't mind. The UHB is a place I'm very happy to call my local.

No comments:

Post a Comment