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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Heathcote Inn

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Heathcote Inn

Heathcote Inn

9 Hunter Place, Heathcote.
5433 2409
When? February 22, 2019
www.heathcoteinn.com.au

VENUE:

More fitting a country Inn rather than strictly a pub, nonetheless, there’s a bit happening here and is to be enjoyed.

In no particular order, there’s a delightful bar made from timber to suit a small gathering of punters, through a door, swimming pool (maybe 15 metres x 2 to the side)  to an outdoors dining area that is straight out of the Stratco ad – except way bigger!!. To the rear a playing area for the kids.

Above this is a cellar door – Chalmers wines –  with free tastings, and some fine looking accommodation attached.

There’s a modern feel here, and is represented by some serious cooking.  Staff is absolutely on the job and no waiting for an order to be taken.  Again, it has a different to your local pub, but once there, you’ll get it. No TAB/No Pokies.

There is no doubt they are looking to raise things a notch from a pub perspective in Heathcote, aware that nearby Tooborac and Redesdale are doing good things.

And to be fair, they are delivering.

FOOD:

Smart bistro cooking to the fore with a split of say 7 entrees, 8-10 mains and 6 desserts. Three courses is around $55-60, but you read and want a crack at the lot. Tried was;

  • Braised free range pork belly, master stock reduction, apple and fennel remoulade. 4 pieces $15. What a pleasant start. Rich and crunchy with some real skill going into the accompaniments. Not overfilling, but just right,
  • Pan roasted Angus Eye Fillet, chorizo jam, sweet potato, bearnaise, jus. Rare. $32. Great pub/bistro steak. Cooking rare, so often mucked up was spot on. Rich flavours, excellent beef,
  • White chocolate and mango Creme Brulee. $12. As expected, top crisp, bottom creamy, neat presentation.

DRINK: 

Rotation of 4 taps – all local, all craft, are the taps with a well stock bar of bottled, e.g., Holgate, Pirate Life IPA, Melbourne Bitter, 4 Pines. To be fair there was a miss on the tap – flat – (glassware/gas?), but the win was an immediate ‘no charge’  being informed that they pride themselves on their beer.  To quote the great Arthur Daley – Can’t say fairer than that Tel’. Good on them.

Slavishly devoted to locals is worthy of a tick. Heathcote, Redesdale and the gloriously named garden of Earthly Delights  from Tooborac. Prices are around the average.

SERVICE: 

This is a multi faceted business, owner operator so the hours are long, but on a hot February Sunday, the staff was attentive and courteous.

MUSIC LEVELS:

New category. Today was a 6/10.  Not too bad. Keith Urban, Keith Urban and then some. Please just a little more (down) sir!

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

A swimming pool.  And a proper one. And I’ve never seen one I’ve reviewed before. Have a beer, have a bite, bring the kids. For sure it’s for guests, but if you spend there and bring the kids they’ll never want to leave. That’s what we were told.

SUMMARY:

The Heathcote Inn possess every quality you would ask for in a pub.  There is no doubt this is an attempt to ramp things up in the area and they get there.  I note that the surrounds were up for sale, so if they have moved on/or about to, please bring that level of hospitality to your next stay.

It will be appreciated. If you decide to stay, then good luck as it is a good offer.

If you go, head up to the cellar door and sample the fine work from Chalmers.  It is very pleasant.

SCORE: 13.5/20

Neil Mitchell
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