Fun fact: I used to be able to see the Carringbush Hotel through my old bedroom window, and never actually visited. More recently though, it’s changed hands, had a makeover and now features an entirely vegetarian menu and an excellent beer list. I knew I needed to give it a try!
The Carringbush Hotel is lovely inside – lots of natural light, exposed brick, recycled timber and open fire places. It’s not a huge venue but it felt spacious and welcoming. The place was full of people of all ages, including plenty of little kids on a Saturday afternoon, and the staff were friendly and relaxed. But now, on to the food!
We started with a serve of the smoked potato and eggplant dumplings ($14). They were crispy on the outside and the filling sure was smokey, in an excellent way. They came with a soy chilli lime dipping sauce that was also delicious, and there was a wide array of hot sauces to choose from if you wanted to add more kick. We were off to a good start!
Next up was the Gnocchi ($22). It was a crispy brussels sprout gnocchi served with parsnip puree, broccolini and a chilli parsley pesto, served with a potato roll. This was my Dad’s dish and he thoroughly enjoyed it. There was absolutely nothing left on the plate, and he raved about the combo of flavours and textures. It’s a seasonal dish, so I will have to go back soon and try it for myself!
Mum went with the Haloumi and Mushroom Burger ($21) which came with spinach, mint aioli, tomato chutney and fries. There was a generous slab of haloumi inside, as well as a whole field mushroom and plenty of chutney and aioli. As a result this definitely wasn’t lacking in the flavour front! Again, not a dish I got to try myself, but she spoke highly of it!
My sister and I decided to share a couple of dishes, starting with the Sweet Potato Steak ($21). The sweet potato was spiced and served with and eggplant coconut puree, crispy chickpeas and pico de gallo. This was such a great dish. The sweet potato was soft and sweet but with a charred exterior, and the crispy chickpeas added excellent texture. I also loved the puree, which I was happily eating with a spoon by the end. So tasty!
Last but not least was the Buffalo Cauliflower ($18.50) with fries and slaw. The slaw was zesty and crunchy, and thankfully not overly dressed either. The star of the show was definitely the cauliflower though! The sauce had a good amount of kick to it without being overpowering (and you could always use the aforementioned hot sauce collection) and they were crispy without being heavy. This was such a good meal for a Saturday afternoon at the pub, and definitely something I would order again.
The Carringbush Hotel also has an excellent range of beers on tap – from local favourites to super interesting small runs. They change things up regularly too, so there will always be new things to try. It’s probably good I can’t see the pub from my window anymore or I might never leave!
Who is keen to give the Carringbush Hotel a try? I’ll be back for sure!