The Village Bar
531 Hay Street
I don't really want to call this a pub, but in essence that is what it is. But it is a nice pub! Great decor, some nice curtains, not super crowded, it has a good feel to it! They have a gallery of pics on their website so have a little squiz.
Why did I choose this place over the plethora of restaurants in the Subi area? The menu. It looked awesome, I spent the last two hours of work trying not to keep looking at it in case I a) just got more confused or b) ended up getting really grumpy at the bar because everybody was taking way too long to decide what they wanted when I knew before we even arrived! There was at least a dozen things on the menu that I really would have been very happy to eat.
We decided on The Village Share Plate to start which included Arancini balls, Mushrooms, Feta, Chorizo, Haloumi, Olives, Bread, Chutney - a pretty decent spread I must say! Certainly enough for six to comfortably share. Excellent start to the evening!
After much deliberation I decided on the Lamb Burger and Chips. Chips were delicious! Big, crunchy and served with Aioli. The burger didn't blow my mind but it wasn't bad. The Mint and Gherkin Chutney wasn't very evident though. I love Gherkins so more of that would have been good. I think it would have been better had it not been served up next to the Gnocchi and the Beetroot Salad... Two words. Food. Envy.
Not only did they look absolutely gorgeous on the plate, (not your ordinary pub food, that's for sure!) but they tasted fantastic! I am definitely going to try and replicate the beetroot salad this week and if it's a success I'll post it for you all to enjoy as well. Fresh, clean flavours that just popped in your mouth. Have I mentioned that I adore Quinoa as well? Very jealous.
The Gnocchi.... oh, the Gnocchi. I never really think to order it because it can be quite heavy and at cheap Italian restaurants they give you a massive serving and it's rarely good. This was so good. Light, hot and just delightful!! Food envy at an all time high. I tried to conceal it but I don't know how successful I was...
The only disappointment was the Fish and Chips, I didn't taste the fish but my friend left most of it on the plate and said it was greasy. Our waiter forgot to put the order in so it ended up arriving about ten minutes after everything else. They were incredibly apologetic and offered her a free drink. They also asked if everything was OK when the plates were being cleared and then gave her the meal half price because she didn't enjoy it. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes and I can imagine that orders being forgotten happens from time to time! The waiter was fairly good most of the night so I'm not going to hold it against her! I think it's how mistakes are rectified that really tells the tale and they dealt with it well. I felt like it showed that they really care about the food they are presenting to their patrons.
Another thing I liked was that everything was served differently! Burgers on Bread Boards, Fish and Chips in a frying basket, rectangular plates, bowls. Mixing it up!
They had a function on and once that got going the noise level rose and it became quite hard to hear. It also meant that it took a long time for our plates to be cleared, we weren't offered the dessert menu or tea or coffee which was a bit of a shame because I think we might have been persuaded!
In summary - food was great, service was good, definitely recommend The Village Bar for Friday night drinks and nibbles or for a reasonably priced dinner. Happy to have found this place!! Parking was a breeze as well!
The Village Share Plate
Crumbed Haloumi, Arancini Balls, Grilled Chorizo, Olives, Feta, Roasted Mushrooms and Sourdough
Beetroot and Spinach Salad with Mint, Feta, Quinoa, Walnuts and Roast Pumpkin
Local Fish and Chips in Honey Vodka Batter with Tartare Sauce and Roasted Garlic Aioli
Pan fried Gnocchi with Butter Sauce, Pumpkin, Silverbeet and Peanut Brittle
Lamb Burger with Mint and Gherkin Chutney, Baby Beets, Romas, Swiss Cheese and Chips