Eating @ ... The Brickworks
With the sun streaking through the canopy of trees, the chorus of birdsong and the glittering Heathcote River silently snaking its way below, The Brickworks’ beer garden is channelling some serious urban oasis action.
It’s a mid-winter day, but in this stunning location perched at the foot of the Cashmere Hills in the full afternoon sun we find ourselves, incredulously, having to remove the protective layers hurriedly thrown on earlier in the day between sips of frosty beer. Nearby, some industrial outdoor heating is ready to keep things toasty when the temperature drops, but we won't be needing it today.
Inside, owner Angela Spyve has spruced up the iconic local, imbibing it with a cosy, rustic aesthetic and a relaxed, casual vibe. At its heart sits a killer, double sided-brick fireplace, perfect for those cooler evenings, which separates the bar (complete with enormous, curved screened TVs for serious sport hounds) and dining areas, and nods to the past (it’s named after the former clay brickworks in the area).
As we soak in the serenity, our meals are announced by the unmistakeable excited chatter of a pair of fantails flitting and darting trough the nearby leafy branches in an aerial game of tag, and we start to get equally excited ourselves as the gravity-defying and aptly-named Big Brickworks Beef Burger touches down at our table. It’s almost comical in its height, with only a carefully placed skewer preventing the towering burger of deliciousness from toppling over its heaving, artfully-stacked layers of bacon, beetroot relish, beer-battered onion rings, melted cheese, onion jam, salad, and enormous, homemade beef patty, all wrapped in a perfectly-toasted bap. Regal in its stance, and served alongside a pile of super crunchy beer-battered fries, it’s the creation of culinary genius and new head chef Stevie Wells (Honeypot Café) and one of the most perfect burgers we’ve ever seen.
A two-handed handful, the burger is crazy good, offering an explosion of flavours with each bite; there’s a delicious smoky flavour coming through with the bacon, joined by the slight sweetness from the onion jam and beetroot relish and the meaty king-hit of the über succulent patty, while the onion rings add a great crunch. We’re so caught up in the moment we don’t notice or mind the addictive juices running down our fingers and flavouring the chips on the plate below.
Not to be outdone, the red wine braised lamb shank (the week’s blackboard special during our visit) holds its own too, with the caramelised meat barely clinging to the bone atop a creamy potato mash accompanied by a colourful selection of seasonal vegetables and a dark and intoxicating jus. The lamb is melt-in-the-mouth tender and beautifully rendered, with its rich flavour perfectly balanced by the delicate, buttery mash, while the jus-infused vegetables are crisp and refreshing.
It’s an epic lunch and location; one we’ll definitely be looking to repeat, and on a regular basis!
69 Centaurus Road
03 337 2227