Eating @ ... Merrin Street Brewery Bar
With 80s tunes rocking the sound system, a funky new interior created after a rustic revamp and a fine menu of epically-honed gastropub fare, the reborn Merrin Street Brewery Bar has swag in spades.
The venue formerly known as the Monteith’s Brew Bar located in Avonhead Mall might have changed its name, but its signature legendary West Coast hospitality, and famed line-up of Monteith’s craft beers and Kiwi wines, continues the legacy of this neighbourhood fave.
It’s a crackin’ autumn afternoon when we roll up with some serious hunger pangs and, after walking through the sun-drenched outdoor area, are welcomed by huge friendly grins from the staff and the slick new aesthetic, where righteous multi-coloured rough-cut coloured feature walls meet the industrial edge of chunky wooden copper-nailed tables. In a nod to the bar’s West Coast roots, a boar’s head lords over proceedings from over the fireplace.
Behind a well-stocked bar and some seriously cool beer taps, we spy a blue ribbon-winning sash and cup, courtesy of the Brewery Bar’s own premium South Devon beef – it’s all part of their exclusive paddock to plate operation. But it’s not their only award; the restaurant also boasts enough Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards plates to cater a sizeable function.
Looking at the menu, then, it’s a no brainer; we leap at the chance to sample their beef, ordering the South Devon Surf & Turf, and the always changing Angus House Burger, which sounds simply too good to pass up.
Our meals arrive as 80s Aussie rockers The Choirboys are belting out Run To Paradise. Serendipitously, paradise has also arrived on a plate in the form of our burger and steak. Immediately impressive, Surf & Turf piles the thickly-sliced, perfectly cooked steak atop a golden, decadently buttery potato galette stacked with salt and pepper calamari rings and large, succulent prawns. An exquisite red wine jus rounds out the plate and takes the rich, rare and melt-in-the-mouth tender beef into the stratosphere.
Not to be outdone, the burger is of monstrous proportions – the towering edifice of juicy, real meat patty, battered pineapple, crispy bacon, melted cheese, salad and zesty house-preserved pickles is thoughtfully impaled onto the serving board with a sharp knife and served alongside a basket of addictive, super-crispy fries.
It’s a mission to get through, but one we’re only too happy to accept. Unfortunately this means we can’t even look at the delicious dessert menu, but it does give us an excellent reason to come back – soon!
Merrin Street Brewery Bar
Shop 4/5 Avonhead Mall
210 Withells Road
(03) 358 8184