Since it’s grand re-opening, Hotel Elermore has been pleasing the community with a range of offerings from live sport on gargantuan TV screens, to indoor-outdoor areas, and a brand-new kid’s play area. But most recently it’s the pub’s food offering that’s bringing the smiles and putting bums on seats.
According to Iris Hotel Group Area Manager Nic Barnett, the recent acquisition of new chef Andrew Poultney for Hotel Elermore led to the creation of a new dining strategy for the pub, one which focuses on providing more diversity for the local area.
“This has always been a good local pub, but with the renovation and new identity we want to ensure our menu represents a new era, so we’re branching out with a larger seafood offering and dishes like kingfish ceviche, which is proving really popular. The goal is to offer something special for the people who live in this area, so they have a diverse menu to choose from when coming to dine with us.”
With Nic being a long-time local, and Andrew settling just minutes up the road, he said the ability to take pride in what almost feels like having the neighbourhood over for dinner every night, is what drives him to keep improving and finding new ways to make the venue the best it can be.
“My friends and neighbours are in here all the time and this is a venue that predominantly serves the local community. To be able to do that with pride and know we are giving them something special is what matters most to me,” Nic said.
For Andrew, a New Zealand chef with more than 20 years’ experience working in kitchens from lavish Sydney restaurants, to cafes, and pubs, the opportunity to join Iris Hotel Group and create a new spring/summer menu for Hotel Elermore is feeling like a home away from home.
“I moved to Australia nine years ago and it wasn’t until I settled in Newcastle that I found my footing in pubs,” he said.
“I’ve lived locally for the past five years and watched on as the pub changed and was renovated. Now working here and being able to showcase my cooking to people I know including neighbours, and teachers from the local schools my children attend, is very rewarding.
“Being a local, I understand what people are looking for and having spent time working in different types of kitchens I learned a great deal about the diversity of food offerings, particularly in vegan, vegetarian, seafood, and other food that’s probably not classed as classic pub dining. That has come in very handy because we didn’t want to have just a standard pub menu here. We wanted variety and I believe together we have created that for Hotel Elermore.”
Andrew says his new menu includes all the pub favourites as well as a few standout dishes.
“We’ve got schnitzels, steak, and burgers of course,” he said.
“But there’s a few standouts as well like our seafood platter, a fresh seafood pasta with lemon, herb and white wine butter sauce, a pulled beef pappardelle pasta, and slow roasted lamb shoulder. On the busy nights I always try to come out and chat to our diners and the feedback I hear most about the food includes the word amazing, so I’m pretty happy with that.”