Scarf? Gloves? Pub with a Sunday roast? An essential part of surviving winter in Melbourne, the rotating roast is getting plenty of airspace at pubs around the city. Here are nine venues that also have a fireplace to warm you up inside and out.
The Orrong Hotel
An afternoon in this grand old dame of a pub is like putting on your sepia-coloured glasses for a few hours. Retro carpets, a truckload of timber, sweeping curved bars and a red-topped pool table will take you back in time, but each Sunday, a new roast special is guaranteed. From Roaring Forties lamb leg to Cape Grim beef or Hazeldene chicken, expect some roasted sprouts, parsnip or pumpkin, all for $25. Away from the specials, the menu offers something for every one and every mood, making The Orrong the platonic ideal of a pub.
709 High Street, Armadale, orronghotel.com
Those who like their roasts straight down the line will appreciate The Railway's approach. Yorkshire pudding, roast spuds and pumpkin, gravy and a smattering of seasonal vegetables play supporting role to 12-hour brisket one week, pork loin and crackling the next. The $25 price tag means tables are in demand; bookings are recommended.
280 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne, railwaypub.com.au
Roast beef with silverbeet and fondant potatoes at Richmond's Union House. Photo: Supplied
This upscale pub is known for its free-standing cast-iron fireplace, which adds an orange glow to an otherwise minimalist dining room. But Union House also does a ripper Sunday roast for just $28. You might be lucky enough to get there on the day harissa roast chicken is the star of the show, joined by potato wedges and winter slaw. Or it could be the week for roast beef with fondant potatoes, silverbeet and red wine jus. One thing is certain: the room and the food are both a cut above.
270 Swan Street, Richmond, unionhouse.com.au
The Auburn Hotel has three fireplaces and a Sunday roast that changes weekly. Photo: Supplied
The Auburn Hotel
Graceful arches, plush carpets and timber heritage features add up to a warm hug of a pub. The Auburn doubles down on the wintry vibes with its three open fires or you can book one of its igloos that have taken over the beer garden this season. The heated domes can fit two generously or a cosy group of six. All igloo bookings dine on a shared three-course menu ($69), which means fans of a Sunday roast ($26) should try and snag a seat inside by the fire instead. The roast and sides change weekly: think pork belly, roast chicken and more. Got kids with you? They'll love the petting zoo that's on each Sunday from noon to 3pm.
85 Auburn Road, Hawthorn East, theauburnhotel.com.au
The fireplace is on all day, every day during winter, along with an impressive line-up of drinks you're more likely to find in restaurants. But Sunday is the day to get down to this Carlton favourite for winter's great ritual of a roast. For $32 you'll get a plate of roast chook with roast veg, peas and gravy, or it might be pork belly or pulled lamb. The roast changes weekly, but the art deco bones of the pub are always a drawcard. Book or get there early; the roast often sells out.
91 Cardigan Street, Carlton, hotellincoln.com.au
The Marquis of Lorne
When the craving for a Sunday roast strikes, make haste for this backstreet boozer in Fitzroy, which keeps things exciting with its varied takes on the genre. Brisket? You bet. Braised rabbit with bacon and kipflers? Right this way. The wine list is just as fresh, with an array of biodynamic, minimal intervention and just plain talented producers from Victoria, France and beyond. Magnums of extra-special juice are usually open on Sundays, and there are eight beer taps, too.
411 George Street, Fitzroy, marquisoflorne.com.au
Naughton's roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. Photo: Emily Weaving
Don your Sunday best and head down to Royal Parade's favourite (read: only) pub, which has a menu to match its good looks. The Sunday roast special ($34) might be roast beef with horseradish cream or pork with apple sauce, but you can be sure there'll be roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. There's also live music from 4pm on Sundays. The front bar is a winter-perfect den of racing green and dark wood but the rear dining room is where you'll find the impressive free-standing fireplace. In short: there's not a bad seat in the house.
43 Royal Parade, Parkville, naughtonshotel.com.au
Hobsons Bay Hotel
Feeling fancy? This west-side establishment has a Sunday roast to suit, whether it's the week for confit duck leg, beef rump camp or pork scotch (prices vary). Suppliers include Vintage Beef and Otways Pork (pictured), while sides and sauces take things up a notch. Expect duck fat potatoes, braised red cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke and Cumberland sauce. Chef Ben Pigott has spent time across the Van Haandel and Trader House restaurants, so you know you're in safe hands. Tartan carpets and comfy leather banquettes are the antidote to any winter blues.
28 Ferguson Street, Williamstown, hobsonsbayhotel.com.au
Seddon, rejoice: you've got your pub back. After a topsy-turvy couple of years for the Mona, this corner pub has had a lick of paint and is again pouring Carlton Draught, as well as stepping up to roast duties on Sunday, so you don't have to. The kitchen keeps things fresh for its many regulars but recently lamb shoulder was spotted, joined by mashed potatoes, baby carrots, green beans and mint sauce. We recommend starting with a plate of house-made dim sims to complete the old-school pub experience.
45-53 Austin Street, Seddon, monacastlehotel.com
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