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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Garfield Hotel

pub of the week

Garfield Hotel

95 Main Street, Garfield.
5629 2401

When? October 11, 2019.

VENUE:

Unassuming smallish pub, plonked in the middle of a suite of interesting shops, the Garfield is your perfect pub for your country town. Set out in this lovely part of West Gippsland – basically 20 minutes past Pakenham – this pub is living proof why all towns need such a venue to be the focal point of much of the activities for the community.

It took a few locals to stump up the ante and keep the Garfield alive after some inactivity.  Pleased to report that after 10 or so months, the pub sails on smoothly.

It looks like any other country pub from the outside – longish verandah, old brick, a little worn around the edges, but upon entering, to the left is a long 90 degree bar, fireplace and small TAB kiosk, through to a neat patio for one outside overlooking the scenery.  Local tradies knocking over one at lunch with a parma.

To the right is the Dining room, old world, wooden but a few 2 seater leatherette couches against the wall (Buy/Swap/Sell purchase?). Seats 40 with room to spare. It is comfortable.

Some nice specials supplement the main menus, and on a wet Thursday, in a small town, the pub was doing a good steady trade.

For the second week, a pub using facebook to sell its wares.  Please all publicans, big and small, really look into establishing a website, with twitter/facebook/instagram as the support acts.

FOOD:

Interesting menu is provided that is an interesting read and has points of difference. Thai Satay Chicken Skewers w/peanut coconut satay dipper (16), Cajun spiced fried chicken (16) for entrees, Crispy Pork Belly, steamed Bok Choy (28), Salmon Fillet, Ratatouille, (28) for mains, fully plated. Big tick – please note other pubs – that the accompanying salad was fresh, with a balanced vinaigrette. Good on them taking care.

Tried was;

  • Pork and Chive gyoza (5/$11), with pickled ginger, soy sauce. The chunkiness of the filling worked for the dumplings and both flavours distinguishable due the freshness, good start,
  • Steak Sanga, turkish bread, bacon, caramelised onion, cheese, tomato, mixed salad, mini deep fryer of chips. $16 (special – normally 24). Served on a board that had some paper underneath to stop the juices going everywhere, this was a beauty. Scotch fillet (150g), was really good, but the bacon, for a change, was not incinerated!. Pleasant eating.

DRINK: 

It is different Carlton products at the Garfield. Carlton D, Carlton Dry, Great Northern  the main players by tap, and all good there. And $4.9/pot. By the bottle, and the offer expands a little more.

Wine is kept to a minimum with DeBortoli being the main label represented. DB’s has expanded its reach and now incorporates Rutherglen Estate under its wing. At 7pg/26/bottle, the White offered is Sav/Blanc, the Red is an excellent blend of Shiraz/Durif. These prices are outstanding value.

MUSIC LEVELS: 

Maybe a notch lower, but not annoying. 6.5/10.

SERVICE: 

The manger was the sole staff until 2pm, but had a genuine love of the place and did it easily.  You can say he’s just doing his job, but he clearly wanted to spruik this lovely pub and proud of his work

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Not within the pub per se, but this delightful strip of shops had different wares to offer from an award winning butchery (which butcher in a country town isn’t an award winner?) through to a little takeaway cafe, (Stump/Magpie) selling a massive vanilla slice (which country town doesn’t have that?) for a fiver. Good shopping.

SUMMARY: 

The Garfield pub is a beauty.

No bells/whistles, just a fine place to relax (about an hour from town) and take it all in. The fact that it has found a solid footing in such a short time given the smallish population, means it is doing the right thing by locals in creating the right environment.

Simply executed country hospitality.

SCORE: 13/20

pub of the week
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