Newly renovated pub, the Burwood Hotel, introduces The Burwood Eating House.
Situated on the buzzing Burwood Road, the Burwood Hotel has recently undergone extensive renovations on the spacious ground floor. The result is the introduction of The Burwood Eating House, a casual dining venue with an ‘East meets West’ style food and cocktail menu.
We arrive at the Burwood Hotel on a Saturday evening of a long weekend. Before entering a security guard asks us for our IDs leaving us somewhat flattered and confused at the same time. We walk into what feels like a small country pub with eastern oriental influences and take a seat. Despite the restaurant being close to empty, the Burwood Hotel seems to be gearing up for a large weekend crowd. In full view of the open kitchen, a young DJ appears to drown out the misjudged Saturday night vibe. From Ed Sheeran to The Chainsmokers, the playlist is loud and we find ourselves shouting across the small table.
Nonetheless the friendly staff are quick to offer us the cocktail menu, a lengthy list of classics and signature serves. We start with a Raspberry Collins ($14) a mix of Bombay Sapphire gin and apple juice, with a severe lashing of raspberry soda. It’s overly sweet and each sip reminds me of my underage drinking days of combining anything I could find in my parent’s bar fridge. In comparison the lychee caprioska ($14) is well balanced with the perfect combination of sweet and bitterness and two fresh lychees bobbing on top.
If beer and wine is more speed, then the Burwood Hotel has a solid list of inexpensive drops sourced mostly from New South Wales. A selection of Chinese tea is also on offer for those wanting a warm and alcohol free option.
The menu is split into two very distinct categories of east meets west. We take inspiration from both as we order our entrees. Four reasonably sized Arancini balls ($12) arrive first. They’re a vegetarian’s delight with pumpkin, mushroom and rosemary encased in a crispy outer and sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese.
Crossing into oriental territory, pork and prawn siu mai dumplings for $8 are another affordable addition to the Burwood Hotel’s repertoire. Whilst the serving of four steamed dumplings is generous the pork stuffing is overcooked and the prawns seems like an afterthought placed on top.
Gazing at the daily list of specials for our main, we order the Beef Rendang ($19). Served on a mound of brown rice, the dish doesn’t look overly inspiring but looks can be deceiving. The beef brisket is soft and well cooked, but it’s the aromatic curry sauce circling the bean shoots, beef and rice that elevates the dish making it a stand out of the evening.
Although the list of burgers looks appealing it’s the roasted salmon fillet ($24) that captures our attention. The large salmon fillet buoys triumphantly on a fricassee of peas, bacon and onion. Although the stewed fricassee is lukewarm, the flavour matches well with the pleasantly cooked salmon infused with fresh ginger sauce. Moving the pieces of hidden grapefruit to the side, we’re left with simply seared salmon with cracked salt, pepper and ginger, and the perfect crispy skin.
The Burwood Hotel leaves us a little confused. It’s “around the world” inspired menu is ambitious and extensive yes, but perhaps they’re trying to cater to too many taste buds. On the plus side if you’re looking for a late night eat the kitchen opens from 11.30am to 3am Wednesday through to Saturday nights, and until 10pm Sunday through to Tuesday. Nothing hits the spot after a few beers like a good beef rendang and now you know where to get it.
Open Mon-Sun 9am-5am