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Published July 4th 2014
A Big Hearty Meal for a Country Appetite
The last pub in town
This has always been the last pub before Whittlesea. The historic frontage gives no indication of the extensive renovation that has been completed. The Bridge Inn is now an ultra modern venue, which includes a number of restaurants (family and couples), kids playroom, function rooms, a gaming room, bar with live music and the largest TV screen I have ever seen.
The front and the rear of the building are binary opposites
They are big on big at the Bridge Inn. They have the biggest set of large TVs outside of Harvey Norman. One was almost as big as a drive in screen. They have a big kitchen staff that can be watched through a window.
A warm greeting from the chef
They have a big menu, serve very big meals and staff is big on service. On most nights the venue serves at least 150 people. On Friday and Saturday 300 and they can feed 500.
The Bridge Inn has many of the expected pub meals with other nice surprises. Pastas start from $22, salads from $17, a 300g porterhouse is $31 and a 500g T bone $35. The veggie or vegan plate for $26 included marinated vegetables, salads and dips. The stockman's beef and bean pie is $23.
Large modern dining areas
I chose the homemade pumpkin gnocchi, which was super soft. It had a delicious blue cheese sauce with salted roasted walnuts (this really made the dish) and fresh herbs.
Very filling but impossible to leave any on the plate
A friend had a very tender Cajun chicken with spicy Italian sausages, chat potatoes and salsa.
Beer battered fish - a little bit naughty
The kids were amused and excited to have chips and 'beer' battered fish. Fancy kids being able to have beer? The chips were crisp and cooked to perfection. All kids meals include two scoops of ice-cream and topping.
As usual the desserts attracted my attention. For $14 you can get something different like a banana bread and pudding with rum and raisin ice-cream or Bailey's cheesecake and a few traditional desserts. Alternatively you can go to the lounge and have a dessert for $4 while watching the entertainment. The chocolate mousse on a soft chocolate cake with ganache on top was rich and tasted as good as it looked. The passionfruit cheesecake was lightly tangy and smooth.
Tasty and cheap desserts
Seniors meals are available. On Monday-Friday a two-course meal is only $15 and a 3-course meal is $20. Every diner receives a $5 gaming room voucher.
Music enjoyed by all
The Bridge Inn has entertainment on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday nights and Sunday during the day. Some examples include a Bon Jovi tribute show ($60 includes finger food, drink, show and prizes) and Collingwood football players. In this part of the venue, pizzas, light and substantial meals are served. The night we went a guitar and singing duo kept us entertained. There were lots of kids really enjoying themselves, dancing and slipping over, no doubt just like their parents in a couple of hours.
A sports bar for adults and a kid's room for little tackers
Went there once in the main restaurant and we were squeezed in to a tiny space and found the menu expensive. Second visit, discovered bartender didn't know a beer from a cider, waitresses attend to the males before the females at the counter and lots of unsupervised children running around in the less formal eating area.. Here we found the menu to be overpriced, poor waitressing service and extremely disappointing antipasto and foods served without accompanying sauces etc.