The Publishers Hotel on Franklin Street has long been on my list of places to try out. As a writer, I've always been especially intrigued by the name. It turns out that the building was once the home of the Stock and Station Journal, and was where the paper was printed for over 80 years before digitisation forced it into new and smaller offices.
The now chic and renovated interior is an award-winning fusion of rustic and modern influences. The relaxed bar setting leads to a cosy restaurant out the back and a large and airy garden area off to the side. The building dates back to 1914 and was re-opened in 2014 as a brand new pub project by Peter Buik. His massive wine list lives on today and features everything from inexpensive quaffers by the glass, to bottles from France that will set you back over $1000!
The Publishers Hotel head chef Callum Mayne presides over a modern Australian menu full of local produce and inspiration. Every dish is a gem and worth savouring. On our visit, we dined in the restaurant for lunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the intriguing and complex flavours. The meals were artfully arranged to give each of the senses something to savour.
For starters we were served some crunchy salted lavosh crisps with an olive tapenade. The tapenade was smooth, rich and moreish. The semi-cured red kangaroo with davidson plum sauce, Woodside ashed goats chevre and seeds was a real adventure in flavour. The small medallions of semi-cured, kangaroo were tender, subtle and earthy. When combined with the sweet sauce and tangy chevre, it achieved a perfect balance of flavour. This is a modern take on the classic carpaccio that you won't want to miss!
Next up, we tried the twice cooked poussin with warrigal greens, green beans, caramelised peach and boobialla fruit glaze. The tender pieces of chicken were laid atop the green beans and warrigal greens (like saltbush) with the peach and the glaze drizzled over it all lending a fruity flavour. The prawn and pork belly salad was fresh and crunchy with a little bit of salty, sometimes soft and sometimes crispy, pork belly all tossed into a salad with a smooth mint and lime dressing. The flavours in the salad were vibrant and fresh without being too sweet, or too tangy.
When your Thursday lunch is finished up with a dessert like the coconut and mango parfait at the Publishers then you're reminded that life is actually not all that bad, in fact, it's pretty good! Mango shards, lemon myrtle steeped apricots and tiny little balls of finger lime all surrounded a beautiful creamy slice of parfait that sent our taste buds into heaven.
Did I mention the extensive wine list? The drinks list is the same and has a wide range of beers, ciders, liqueurs, water, and soft drinks. The Publishers even has their own lager available at $9 a pint.
You can also dine in the bar section where the menu is slightly different, and a bit cheaper. It's based loosely on the restaurant menu but extends to share plates and lunch offers. At lunchtime, The Publishers offers "po'boys", which are Louisiana style rolls filled with fried shrimp, or steak and cheese. They're ideal for an express lunch snack.
I'm super happy to have finally tried the Publishers Hotel. It's ideal for business lunches, quick lunches, dates, family dinners and functions. It's centrally located in the city too, so make a point of heading over to the Publishers Hotel sometime soon for lunch, dinner, or after work drinks!