Tony Leonard’s Pub of the Week review: The Cowwarr Cricket Club Hotel
PUB: Cowwarr Cricket Club Hotel
WHERE? Main Street, Cowwarr
PHONE: 5148 9233
WHEN? 20 May, 2016
First time review. Lovely old world facade, with delightful dining rooms and a beer ‘saloon’, the Cowwarr Hotel, located in North Gippsland ups the ante on food and drink and was a pleasant experience.
Owner/operators Val and Maddie were welcoming hosts at the CCH, which relies much on passing trade given its semi remote location. It is certainly worth stopping in and supporting this pub, because the food’s set at a higher level (price/quality) and simply put the owners genuinely love you.
A distinguishing feature is the kitsch tin cow at the front of the pub. It’s cute in an animated kind of way.
The rear of the pub is well covered resembling an outback saloon for sporting groups or mates to gather and enjoy some music or a game of pool. It’s a country pub in a small country town doing its best. I liked it.
The menu is aimed higher than your basic pub grub, so reliant on the deep fryer. It is brief (6 mains/entrees) but it is not boring. Helena (part owner) has extensive experience (she told us of her food journey) and the meals are pitched higher. Roast semi boned half duckling on creamy mash, sweet & sour red cabbage & piquant plum – yes – is $33.50.
Crumbed chicken fillet filled with trio of cheese and garlic butter served on vegetable risotto and citrus sauce is $32.50.
They are 2 of the 6 mains and just re-reading this, confirms how much of a crack they had. The turbo charged panko crumbed parma, with the exquisite Maffra cheese is $29.50.
Tapas trio tasting platter: potato bravas with garlic aioli, meatballs in Spanish paprika sauce & seafood croquettes. $17.50. Good. All 3 tastes (3 pieces per ea) were home made, the meatballs were the highlight.
Duo Of Lamb ?Slow roasted Lamb shoulder & lamb Shank on potato mash & seasonal vegetables. $33.50. Ok. Dish of two parts; The Lamb shank was fine, the shoulder dry and lacking in taste. The vegetable was plentiful and tasty.
Baked Barramundi fillet topped with caramelized onion & tomato relish on steamed greens & lemon butter sauce. $32.50. Very Good. Great piece of fish arriving as a thick rectangular tile, vegetable was good, and overall an excellent fish pub dish.
In spite of ‘beers’ on tap, it was only Carlton Draught. Not bad, but as can so often happy if you are first out of the tap it can get very heady. Loved the wine list. Small, interesting. Local hero Lightfoot and Sons Chardonnay $38//7 per glass. Great drop and curiously cheaper by glass.
SERVICE AND STYLE
As the only diners that day, we met Mum (cook and chatty) Dad (friendly and chatty) and the lovely girl behind the jump who told us her two loves in life were the Collingwood FC and Jim Beam and Coke. Yes.
The Cricket Club Hotel Cowwarr is a good old fashioned country pub. No Tab/No pokies to support a bottom line, but both would seem out of place. For sure it’s hard yards out here but their love of hospitality shines through.