Thinking of pub menus images of schnitzels, burgers and fish and chips come to mind. There may be a token salad and a veggie dish here and there. The new kitchen team at Norwood establishment Republic, have set out to break the stigma of pub food and they have developed a new menu with a fresh, healthy twist. We headed off to the Republic Winter Menu Launch and there was not a chip in sight!
The new menu is centred on the charcoal grill, and spinning lamb on a rotisserie is evident when I peered in to the kitchen. We have the opportunity to try this Slow Roasted Rotisserie Lamb in a delicious Greek style salad with tomato, olives, feta, cucumber and tzatziki. Despite being cooked through with no sign of pink, it is delightfully tender and each piece has a bark like crust. The salad is light and simple, allowing the lamb shine. I finished the dish without an ounce of guilt but thoroughly satisfied. Other Salads have been included a vegan option- the lean green salad, a veritable buffet of greenery including broccoli, mung and soy beans, quinoa, pepitas, baby spinach and kale , and a super charged salad with sweet potato, pumpkin, lentils, kale and a variety of seeds.
For those after a little more substance there is a selection of healthy mains on offer. There is a Rotisserie Combo of Pork and Lamb with crackling, caramelised apple, red wine jus and assorted vegetables. An original take on pork belly, serving it with soba noodles , quinoa, broccolini, garlic and a black vinegar dressing removing this pub staple from its typically unhealthy surrounds.
The crowd favourite was the Crispy Skinned Atlantic Salmon with braised spinach, currants, crispy chickpeas and hummus. The kitchen delivered on its promise of crispy skinned salmon, perfectly capping the slice of fish. A rough textured hummus had a lemony tang that played nicely with the fish and teamed with wilted spinach it formed the crowd favourite of the night. We all adored the crispy chickpea that added a delightful crunch while drawing the other elements together.
I’m not generally one to go mad for a Chicken Breast but tonight it won me over. A thick portion of chicken cooked in a sous vide bath is so succulent I can’t stop going back for more. The skin has been browned in a pan and it holds all the juice in the meat. Teamed with Paris mash, that has a slightly granular character, some sautéed asparagus and a red wine jus. Sitting next to the fire place in the Republic dining room, with a red wine in hand and tucking into this delicious chicken, made all my winter dreams come true.
Dessert was an absolute treat – a Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich. The brownie was exactly how a brownie should be, soft and fudgy on the inside, a nice crust on the outside, rich, decadent and delicious. I loved the presentation of a sandwich as opposed to a brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top. I felt a little nostalgia from those childhood ice cream sandwiches but more importantly it ensures a perfect brownie to ice cream ratio. Served with hot chocolate fudge sauce it was dessert perfection.
For those who simply must have their pub schnitzel or salt and pepper squid, don’t despair they are still on the menu, but why not try something different, guilt free and delicious. Republic‘s innovative new menu is available now with options in both the restaurant and bar.
Special thanks to all the staff at Republic for their hospitality, and Girl About Town for hosting another amazing event.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 120 Magill Rd, Norwood