20 May 2024

Enjoy fabulous pub fare in a cosy, relaxed atmosphere at Murrumbateman Pub

| Michelle Taylor
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The lamb shanks are two tender shanks served with rustic mash and winter vegetables and topped with a wine-infused gravy. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

It is Monday night at the Murrumbateman Pub and the locals are filing in, placing orders and chatting with each other.

It’s a chilly and wet autumn evening, but a big wood fire crackles inside and the atmosphere is toasty and comforting. Owners Mel and Mitch move around, greeting people with their own drinks in hand. They plan to play a round of darts soon. Monday night is darts night here and the social darts team is inclusive, with no experience required.

Mitch is Murrumbateman born and bred. The couple met when Mel’s parents took over the pub. In 2021, they took over ownership of the Country Inn. They are rightly proud of the renovations they recently finished in the motel rooms, giving the place a much-needed refresher.

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The chalkboard menu is chock full. Pub staples stand alongside pizzas, chicken risotto, pastas and fresh oysters. As far as desserts are concerned, sticky date pudding sounds perfect! Everything on the menu goes down a treat with the locals, Mitch says.

“We spoke with our fantastic chef, Wilbur, about 12 months ago, and we wanted to cut the menu, but there was really nothing that didn’t sell really well.”

The Murrumbateman menu. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

I love a specials menu and there are plenty of options here. We have come early, but the roast pork has already sold out. Mitch recommends Wilbur’s lamb shanks and the chicken schnitty, while Mel says she loves the garlic prawns.

We decide on lamb shanks and a chicken stir fry with hokkien noodles.

While we wait for our dinner, my nose catches the heady, nostalgic scent of lamb’s fry. It is a dish my grandfather often whipped up for me for my breakfast. It smells fantastic. I don’t know when I last found a place that served lamb’s fry!

A delicious plate of lamb’s fry. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Dinner arrives and the serving sizes are enormous. Our chicken stir-fry with hokkien noodles stands out. Tender strips of chicken and stir-fried vegetables, as well as the sauces, oil, and spices combine to create a luxurious umami sauce that I keep adding to my plate.

The lamb shanks are served with rustic mash and winter vegetables and topped with a wine-infused gravy.

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I pull tender carrot slices and pieces of al dente cauliflower and broccoli through the gravy and enjoy the big, meaty hit of rich lamb. I especially enjoy the comfort food flavours of that mash and gravy. I am still scraping my spoon for more of it long after my tummy says it is full.

The interior has a homely feel to it. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Friday night is a family-friendly raffle night; the first Saturday of every month is karaoke, while the other Saturdays are filled with live music and DJs.

The pub provides a courtesy bus on Fridays and Saturdays. Just call and let them know what time you want to be picked up!

Murrumbateman Pub is located on Barton Highway in Murrumbateman. The bar is open from 11 am until late every day, while the kitchen is open for lunch from 12 noon to 2:30 pm and dinner from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Follow Murrumbateman Pub on Facebook to keep up to date with all their events.

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