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.
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.
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.
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.