Pub Of The Week review: The Braybrook Hotel
PUB: Braybrook Hotel
WHERE? 353 Ballarat road, Braybrook
PHONE: 9311 7799
WHEN? 26 March 2016
Historic bluestone pub in very much working class western suburb, the Braybrook has undergone an ownership change and plenty is being spent on raising the comfort levels for the customers.
Front bar, soon to be opened has a fantastic timber look, and enough separation for sports watchers, horses only, and a quiet drink if your thing.
Massive function room, big dining room going Buffet, all you eat, and separate playroom for the kids (who can be watched on CCTV). The pub has pulled out all stops to grab the attention of newcomers to the area while keeping locals. Has Pokies and TAB.
Buffet, all you can eat. Staggering choice of pastas, roasts, fish, desserts. Adults are charged $23 lunch/$28 dinner. Go your hardest.
This is genuine cheap eating value given the quality of food and the care which it is prepared and presented. This style, pioneered successfully by the Templestowe Hotel over 15 years ago can be hit-and-miss but on this day, the offer was great.
Five roasts, fresh vegetables, two pastas, snacky starters including peppered wagyu meatballs, lemon pepper calamari and pork chipolatas, oven baked fish: it goes on and then some.
I accept this is not everyone’s style (to be honest, I prefer a la carte) but I cannot criticise the effort the Braybrook is going to.
Big kids take note: the pub also runs tubs of ice cream to finish.
Oven Baked Atlantic salmon with capers. 2 fillets, well cooked, moist, with potato and vegetable salad;
Roast Pork/Roast Lamb, vegetables, crackling for pork, mint jelly for lamb. Again, well cooked and moist.
Profiterole with vanilla custard. Made by pastry chef on premises, I would gladly pay a shop in Carlton a fiver for one of these beauties.
The trick is to keep the food looking fresh and thus turnover is necessary; in a few short months, the Braybrook is doing in excess of 300 dinner covers each night of the weekend.
Commercial beer, CUB, with a craft and cider available for something different. Carlton Draught was excellent and the pub completes the visual with badged glassware.
Predictable wine list, priced fairly (Oyster Bay S/B was $8/glass or 34/bottle when visited).
SERVICE AND STYLE
Led by experienced staff (Paula), the Braybrook has committed to snappy black/gray uniforms and, in spite of large area, a real effort is made to engage.
Families are a priority; this is a good value day/night out. The buffet is constantly being watched so that the trays are always full. Heavens the pub is trying hard to please.
The Braybrook is trying to change a couple of long-held perceptions.
There is no doubt that much of its past was perfect fodder for casting in Underbelly, and that basically it was beer only and a fight if you were up for it. Food offer was not a consideration.
The new owners, who are doing a great job at the Colosseum in Preston, have turned that pub around and look to do so here. This won’t disturb the natives, but the offer should entice new chums. Well worth checking out.
The Braybrook Hotel.