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Published November 24th 2020
A newly renovated pub is taken the Eastern Suburbs by storm
In the heart of Bondi Junction is a newly renovated, one-level eatery called The Mill. It is owned by father and son, Jim and Harris Kospetas, who teamed up with TWT Property Group to transform the former Mill Hill Hotel into an upmarket family-friendly pub, which serves high-quality Australian gastro-style pub food.
The pub has already gained popularity with locals and Sydneysiders alike and features a tantalising menu that begs your taste buds to come back for more. Keeping the history of the original venue, which dates back to the early 1900s, the renovation included salvaging and restoring the rich history and heritage of the original Mill Hill Hotel, as well as incorporating refreshing and innovative touches.
The Mill is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and is perfect for a social gathering, indulging in delicious pub-grub meals with a twist, as well as a place to share a drink and immerse in "pub-style" atmosphere.
Upon entrance, there is a pub vibe with the high tables and stools, televisions and the bar showing off an impressive range of tap beers and on-tap cocktails. As you enter further towards the back of the pub, the atmosphere becomes cosy and can be easily mistaken for an upmarket restaurant. The back area also features an open window into the kitchen and an automatic door to the VIP gaming area. The decor was impressive with lashings of heritage mixed with modern.
The decor was also slick and showcased dark wooden furniture with dimmed lighting, which created a restaurant-like ambience.
The menu was an unexpected (positive) surprise for a gastropub! The menu combined an impressive fusion of Australian, Asian and Italian flavours with the bistro menu including shared entrees, salads and bowls, burgers, pizzas, mains, grill, sides, dessert and a kids' menu.
Head chef, Vaughan Chapman (ex-Marvan Hotels), combined both pub-grub classics and restaurant-style dishes, and this was certainly achieved with excellence. Expect classic burgers ($19 each) including The Mill Angus Burger, South West Chicken Burger and vegan-friendly Beyond Burger all served with chips, along with mouth-watering pizzas, steaks, schnitzels, and more.
There is also a range of cocktails on-tap including Espresso Martinis, signature cocktails, classics, and more.
We decided not to order pub-grub classics and order something a little different. Each dish was prepared delectably with excellent presentation as well as packed with flavours and textures. All dishes were also a gastronomical experience leaving one full but still wanting more. We started our culinary journey with Burrata and Spiced Meatballs.
The Burrata-date and tarragon paste, orange, sourdough was soft and refreshing, and the combination of the delicate creamy burrata cheese mixed with the sweetness of the date and tarragon paste was without a doubt one of the best starter dishes we have ever had the privilege of experiencing.
The sourdough had the right amount char and when combined with the paste and cheese, the textures and flavours of the charred bread paired with the refreshing softness of the Burrata, mixed with the sweet notes of the paste, was a wonderland of flavour and texture overload!
It was hard to believe that this was pub food. The exotic flavours transformed this shared starter into an innovative dish.
Spiced Meatballs- beef and pork blend, sugo, parmesan, sourdough. This delectable dish transformed the humble meatball into a culinary delight. The Spiced Meatballs were put together with a few basic ingredients that delivered delicious taste and flavour.
The meatballs were moist and well seasoned, however, I would have liked a little more spice but other than that, the dish cannot be faulted. The hints of garlic shined through the hearty sauce and surprisingly was not overpowering at all - this created a burst of Mediterranean flavours and complemented the juicy meatballs perfectly.
Duck Pie-Iron cast slow-braised duck ragu, thyme, porcini, creamy mash potato, jus. I can only compare this meal to ambrosia, the food of the gods.
This appetising dish was jam-packed with love and hearty warm goodness. The duck melted in the mouth and the intensity of the ragu caused the taste buds to go into a gastronomical frenzy, involuntary forcing one to devour the entire generous-sized pie in one sitting!
The humble pie was transformed into an exotic world of unique flavours. The duck was cooked to perfection - it was tender, moist and fatty. The ragu was succulent, steaming hot and the savoury meat juices from the duck filled the palate with warmness and aromatic flavours.
The jus was flavoursome and cooked perfectly. It was not too runny or too thick and complemented the duck ragu. It was also well-seasoned and not overpowering in flavour.
The puff pastry was cooked perfectly - it was buttery, flaky and had a slightly crunchy crust. It was also airy and light.
The side serving of potato mash was heavenly! It was smooth, creamy, buttery and had perfect flavour and texture. It was quite addictive.
Overall, the Duck Pie dish caused nostalgia to the winter days sitting by the fireplace with my partner, as we sipped on wine, whispered sweet nothings and stuffed our faces with hearty pie. To me, when food can take you back to a sentimental moment in time, the chefs have mastered a dish!
Proscuitto Pizza- San Daniele Proscuitto, fior di latte, pineapple, mint. A good pizza is sometimes hard to get when you are not at a fine Italian restaurant. However, The Mill executed this pizza with perfection.
The Proscuitto Pizza was the perfect marriage of sweetness mixed with saltiness. The salty San Daniele Proscuitto combined with the mild semi-soft stretched milky and tangy fior di latte cheese, fresh sweet pineapples and the hint of mint created an irresistible taste of flavours and textures.
It was a wonderful combination of sweetness mixed with saltiness, and it worked quite well.
The final dish Alaskan Crab & Prawn Pasta- Fresh angel hair pasta, cherry tomato, tiger prawns, chilli, garlic, pangrattato. This dish was another highlight to an evening of culinary adventures.
The pasta was cooked al dente and the pasta was filled with seafood aromas. Both shellfish meats were cooked perfectly and the blistered cherry tomato combined with the textures from the pangrattato (bread crumb in olive oil) completed this dish.
The dish, just like all the other dishes, cannot be faulted. The seafood was heavily present and tasted fresh and not too salty. The dish was not overly oily and the addition of the pangrattato took the pasta dish to a whole new level textural wise.
It was prepared with great care and attention to detail. The presentation and the taste was perfection.
Overall, The Mill presented an exquisite menu with lashings of passion, attention to detail, and a genuine hearty dining experience. All dishes were unique and combined with the right amount of seasoning, textures and flavours that worked well. We will certainly be back!
Ticketed Street parking is available nearby and within a five-minute walk from Bondi Junction Train Station.