The old Whitby pub has been reborn as the Co-op, and done quite smartly I might add. Brought to you by the Upstream Hospitality folks behind the Miramar Gasworks, and other such suburban ventures (Eastbourne, Khandallah, the Pram Coast). A mix of upmarket local pub, restaurant and easy afternoon bar. Nicely done.
As a co-op they’re aiming for the local community to vote on the the beer, new menu items, the staff member of the month, the entertainment etc.
The decor is quirky but classy (money spent) and there are lots of well thought out details to digest (walls made of doors, gaggles of hanging lampshade lights, various ‘co-op of…’ recessed wall displays, a bucket of blankets in the conservatory to keep one warm in winter, quotes on walls, etc). The lazy late Sunday afternoon live musician was pleasant, and the service very good.
And the food exceeded expectation. A special of salmon and trevally fishcake with asparagus and hollandaise turned out to be prettier, larger and tastier than I’d imagined, and the best bit – the hollandaise was used as an enhancer not a drowner – hallelujah! good hands in the kitchen who understand the role of sauces and condiments.
The lemon and thyme smashed potatoes had a definite thyme flavour as well as a scattering of said leaves, and the house fish and chips (with a shot of vinegar) got a resounding thumbs up.
Much of the menu was away from ordinary pub fare (lime and bee pollen panacotta; roasted provolone with dried oregano and paprika; salmon fillet with white bean puree, bok chou and smoked manuka broth) and there were a handful of wood fired pizza’s if you just fancied something casual with your bevvie.
The drinks menu included a small but decent spread of wines, a few local beers (many inspired internationally) and a couple of really local Left Footers (looks like the Upstream Hospitality folks are breaking into brewing for their bars…).
It’s nice to be surprised.