Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Heathcote Inn
9 Hunter Place, Heathcote.
When? February 22, 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
New category. Today was a 6/10. Not too bad. Keith Urban, Keith Urban and then some. Please just a little more (down) sir!
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.
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.