The Wayside Inn
The Wayside Inn has seen a few iterations over its 100-odd year run. This is the latest of them. The old girl re-opened in early April (after a brief rest) with a new team, new booze and a new-look menu.
It wasn’t that the old Wayside had fallen by the...err, side of the road. It was just due for a bit of a refresh. A 2018-style update. And under the shrewd eye of venue manager Carole Luca, things are definitely looking up. Gray Allsbury from the old Alchemist has come on-board to handle the alcohol, and Gemma Maslen (ex-Dixon Group) is running the kitchen pass.
So what can you expect from the new-and-improved Wayside? Well in terms of vibe, things are pretty similar. Think upmarket, breezy, South Melbourne gastro pub (with a few surprises up its well-ironed sleeves).
The menu for one thing: up at the front bar you’ve still got homemade pies (for the footy crowd), but the restaurant boasts premium steaks, cooked over Red Gum woodfire grills. And we do mean premium—the 300g Rost biff Kobe Wagyu is graded at AA9 and will set you back a cool $50.
There’s also some chef’d up bistro mains like herb and parmesan-crusted veal schnitzel with saffron chat potatoes, or a knock-out wild mushroom risotto (snuffled to perfection with grated truffles and Grana Padano).
The beers on tap are pretty conservative at the moment (some Furphy, Hawthorn, Little Creatures and White Rabbit), but Allsbury plans to get more experimental with the drinks list. Bring on some more craft taps, a few interesting small-batch wines, even aged whiskies and rare spirits at some point.
Gastro pubs are always tricky contraptions, particularly in South Melbourne. You’ve gotta appease the front bar boozers and the back-room napkin-folders at the same time. At the moment the Wayside is ticking all the right boxes. The food is spot-on, the décor is gorgeous, and there’s even a beer garden out back. We’re excited to see what happens next.
Image credit: Wayside Inn