4 Melbourne gastropubs with hearty new winter menus

Spend winter the right way: eating delicious food in one of Melbourne’s top gastropubs
Photograph: Brook James
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You know you’re in a food-obsessed city when you expect even your friendly neighbourhood pubs to be epicurean hotspots. Luckily for Melburnians, many of our pubs are only too happy to accept the gourmand challenge. With winter here in the city our top foodie pubs are cranking up their ovens and rolling out new menus filled with all the hearty yet on-trend comfort food you’re hankering for. Rug up and head into these top gastropubs to try their new winter menus.

1
Middle Park Hotel
Photograph: Brook James

Middle Park Hotel

There’s a new menu and a new chef at the Middle Park Hotel. New head chef Sangsub Ha is shaking things up in the kitchen, drawing on his South Korean heritage to create a bold new menu. Ha hails from the town of Gangneung, which is known for its quality seafood. Prepare to have your pub-grub standards raised – Ha’s menu includes highlights like Hiramasa kingfish, woodfire-grilled octopus and a hefty, slow-roasted pork shoulder board with ssamjang, jalepeño pickle and oysters.

2
O'Connell's
Photograph: Brook James

O'Connell's

Many regard O’Connell’s as the first true gastropub in Melbourne. And far from resting on scuh laurels, the 140-year-old South Melbourne pub is constantly revamping its menu to stay at the top of its game. O’Connell’s alumni include Greg Malouf, Kath Kalka and Adrian Richardson, so current head chef Tom Brockbank has some big shoes to fill. And fill them he does with a new winter menu to heat you up (we’re excited about the chestnut gnocchi and slow-cooked lamb shoulder), plus a series of cooking classes and wine dinners highlighting different Victorian food bowls.

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3
Auburn Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

Auburn Hotel

The Auburn Hotel never lost its old-world charm. When you dine here you dine surrounded by Victorian-style décor in a heritage hotel that dates back to 1888. The menu here changes from season to season but there’s always something to please both the punter wanting a pub classic and the gourmand seeking  fine contemporary fare. This winter, the Auburn Hotel is really pushing its paddock-to-plate menu. Bring your mates and order one of the share dishes, like the 600g rib-eye steak with your choice of salad or veggies, plus chips or potato dauphinoise.

4
Station Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

Station Hotel

When the temperature drops there’s nothing like a juicy chunk of primo beef to warm you up. The Station Hotel prides itself on serving steak, dry-ageing their beef in house for 28 days to bring out a nutty, earthy flavour in the meat. Currently the hotel has two dry-aged steaks available, a black Angus and a Wagyu. Want more than just a great steak? The pub is also doing Sunday roasts for $29 per person, so you can complete your weekend with roast meat, your favourite sides and all the trimmings.

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