It’s officially bloody freezing now so we’re hankering after a right tasty Sunday roast to keep us toasty on the inside. Actually, who says we need to wait to Sunday?Here are our picks of the best roasts in Melbourne.
The Rose Hotel
Hands down one of our favourite Melbourne pubs, The Rose also delivers on the roast front. The upstairs fancy pants dining room is more than likely to run the odd roast dinner, but why go to all that effort climbing the stairs when you can park yourself at the counter and settle in with Nana’s ever-changing roast of the day with change in your pocket from $20? Downstairs also does a slow-roasted beef cheek with peas and mash. Nom.
We were gutted when The Commoner was also gutted by fire, and rejoiced on its resurrection from the ashes. May the only thing getting chargrilled from now on be the roast in our bellies. Always intriguing in the kitchen, their take on the traditional feed is a wet-roasted goat slapped on the wood grill and then dished up with Brussels sprouts, butternut pumpkin, house-made yoghurt and lashings of honey.
Builders Arms Hotel
If your house is divided between leaf-eating brontosaurus types and brontosaurus-eating T-Rex types, we say you split the difference and head to Gertrude Street’s Builders Arms Hotel. Plonk yourself down in the bistro and then, depending on your spirit dino, choose between the roast mushies with faro, walnut cream and pecorino or the roast Western Plains pork shoulder with crackling and piquant apple sauce—note, T-Rex’s need to share as it’s a whopping great serve.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky joint with a name this bird-flipping good? Northern Git owner, head chef and the expat Yorkshireman hinted at in the not-so-subtle title, Michael Slade, prides himself on a “no bollocks,” locally-sourced, seasonal menu. Where he hails from in northern England, the roast is king and the Yorkshire pudding is a necessary accompaniment, so expect to see it side-by side his Sunday roast or there will be cross words spoken back home.
What could be better than Belleville’s brined and miso-glazed rotisserie chicken drizzled in their death-defying Hot As F#@k sauce to warm the cockles on a long winter’s night? Well mid-July executive chef Jarrod Moore is adding toasty heaven in the form of miso-roasted Brussels sprouts with baked apple and toasted hazelnut and roast baby carrots with seven spice Manuka honey, parsnip purée and shiso, so you can bulk it up all cosy-like.
The Last Jar
Now Irish pubs the world over can sometimes seem a bit plastic fantastic, but The Last Jar, at the far end of Elizabeth Street just past Queen Vic Market, is the real deal. They also happen to do a brilliant roast in the half Milawa chook served with roast potatoes, slathered in butter and plated up with an egg, cos and charred leek salad. Add a pint or three of Guinness and the winter’s chill will be chased from your bones.
The Local Taphouse
Not content with having the finest craft beer tap list south of the Yarra (and arguably city-wide) The Local Taphouse also deliver a DIY Host A Roast menu. All you have to do is round up at least eight of your best mates and then pre-plump for one of Melbourne’s best roasts—roast chook, rosemary and garlic studded lamb, pork or beef rib rack, then potato in whichever format pleases most (if you don’t go duck fat roast chat we dunno what’s wrong with you) and a hat trick of veggies. Once you show up, all you have to do is pig out.
Middle Park Hotel
The only thing better than a roast is a roast sandwiched between an entrée and a dessert. Not literally, obvs. Well, actually, maybe we’d give that a go too, but without the risk of getting seriously messy, we cannot go past the Middle Park Hotel’s $45 a head deal. Each weekend, the main component changes, but whether it’s rare breed pork loin, corn-fed chicken or maybe roasted venison, it all adds up to “get in ma belly”.
The Roast Kitchen
We love a joint that’s so sure of its roast satisfaction levels they offer a guarantee of the best in town or it’s free. Traditional fare at The Roast Kitchen includes red wine-marinated beef, pork loin with spicy apple sauce and chook with apricot and herb stuffing. There’s even a pile of roast veggies for non-carnivores. While the red and black chequer board floor may have some TV geeks unnervingly reminiscing on the backwards speaking weirdos of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, fear not, this is a mighty fine feed, pure and simple.
Sourcing the finest produce from all over Australia and adding a bit of French technical flare for good measure, Station Hotel head chef Robert Aparo knows that a good roast makes a Melbourne pub. His plat pour deux selection offers up a wet-roasted Gippsland lamb shoulder with preserved lemon and tahini. Check out the legumes menu too for the roast Dutch carrot with spiced butter accompaniment, because yum.
Image Credit: In Sock Monkey Slippers