Jurisdiction: Gastropub

Outcome: Majority Verdict

Ratio decidendi: One of the few gastropubs around that can actually live up to the tag. It may not have an avantgarde menu but I’ll take well-executed, simple cooking over creative destruction any day.

Salient features: Sunday roast (18), Banoffee Pie (5)

Scope of discovery: above and strawberry cheesecake sundae (5)

Case note: After several disappointing experiences from ventures far and wide, it was a pleasant surprise to discover a good Sunday roast right on my doorstep. Heightened expectations from the first mouthful of well-seasoned veg (it still astounds me how remarkably rare this is) were not disappointed. The pork was still moist, the crackling crispy and the apple sauce well-balanced.image2

The beef option was no slouch either. All too often other pubs neglect to clean away the fat and sinew, turning what should be an eating experience into a mandible workout. No such complaints here and the pictured creamy cauliflower below that comes standard with both the beef and pork was an absolute joy.

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There should always be room for dessert, especially when you can serve up a mean banoffee pie. While everyone has their own preferences, The Well’s rendition has to be the best I’ve tried – eclipsing my previous benchmark which was Cafe Sopra back in Sydney. Perfectly balanced – so much so you can polish one off by yourself (maybe it’s just me but I struggle with others that get the caramel to cream to biscuit ratio wrong and quickly fade after a few spoonfuls.

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The strawberry cheesecake sundae would be better served in a bowl. While the towering glass scores points on old school novelty, its a practical challenge to try to ration the various components to allow for uniform mouthfuls of flavour from start to finish.

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