I'm a little older now and you are more likely to find me enjoying dinner with friends than propping up a bar but on Saturday night we decided to combine the two at the Newmarket Hotel.
When I was drinking at the RE the Newmarket Hotel was very down market and boy that's changed. Nowadays it's been renovated in the gastro pub style with a large bar area, expansive dining room and open style kitchen.
Like many pubs the menu includes a wide selection of char grilled steaks - all with an extensive description of breed, where the cattle came from, what they ate, how long they have been aged and the marble score. After a night at Super Butcher, where many of these things were explained, I now know exactly what to choose to tantalise my taste buds.
Our choices on the night included the Black Angus MB2+ Porterhouse, Darling Downs aged eye fillet and Black Angus rump for the men - prices ranged from $27 to $30. The women choose chicken parmigiana topped with ham, cheese and a rich napoli sauce, pork loin with parmesan mash, poached apple, crackling shard and drizzled with a shiraz and port jus and duck breast with roasted duck fat potatoes and broccolini with a caramelised blood orange glaze (prices ranged from $21 to $24).
There were also several dessert choices and the tiramisu was a clear winner. It also won the most praise of all the dishes on the night. Generally the meals were enjoyable but not outstanding.
I did find the dining room noisy even though it was half full. Previously we have sat outside and noise was not a problem. Saturday night is a busy night in the bar and no doubt that contributed to the noise.
Bottom line: A low fuss, casual diner with plenty of options but no surprises. Reasonable value.
Newmarket Hotel. Cnr Enoggera & Newmarket Rds, Newmarket, +61 7 3853 2000