There are less than a 1000 permanent residents on Bruny Island. The population swells by a factor of 5-6 during summer and almost everyone eats at Hotel Bruny. They say the kitchen produces around 1600 meals a week in our warmer months, although staff tell me it’s not because they’re the only place to get dinner out (the local vineyard is now doing meals), it’s because they’re AWESOME!
This Girl, and the team Tigers on Vaseline, had two meals at the pub during our stay for the Bruny Island Ultra Marathon relay. Held on the first weekend of December, the marathon marks the beginning of the Hotel’s busy season which ends around Easter.
If it’s warm, sit outside for the beach view because from inside you’ll only see the carpark which is about three times as big as the hotel’s footprint. The staff are characters and it’s good value, locavore pub-grub.
It’s busy right? At Friday lunch, we were warned that people arriving later than us might be served sooner than us because they had ordered ahead. True to their word, after a descent wait, the meals started hitting the next table while we looked on with sad faces and rumbling tummies. We didn’t have much longer to wait and our meals were the perfect fuel for Saturday’s 64 kilometres.
After Saturday afternoon’s awards ceremony, I convinced the team that the last thing we’d want to do is eat at 8.30 pm. So we ordered at 4.30 pm for 7.30 pm, arrived on time, and were fed a few minutes later. In peak times, it pays to pre-order.
What we ate:
Crumbed squid, chips and salad, $22
Chicken parmigiana, chips and salad, $26
Catch of the day, fish battered, grilled or crumbed, chips and salad, $26
Pepperoni pizza, $10.50
Lamb pizza, $24, large
Seafood chowder, $16
Scotch fillet, chips and salad, $34
Mixed fish platter for two, $60
There’s a lot of talk about the Hotel Bruny’s chicken parmigiana around Hobart’s foodie traps. The parmy is a quintessential pub meal. Hotel Bruny wins largest chicken parmigiana hands down. It’s made from a double breast of a Nichols free-range chicken. Which is the best part of an entire chicken right? Over two sittings, I witnessed two big men break out in sweat trying to finish this monster. I tried a slither from each and they were juicy morsels with rich tomato sauce, bacon and Bruny Island cheese.
The small pizza was perfect for a modest appetite, not so much for Captain America who was up for a pepperoni feed. To be fair, ordering the small, or not ordering the large, or getting the small, whatever, it was a mistake. He got to eat my leftover chips. Ironically, after our long run, I wasn’t so much ready for a big meal and the large lamb pizza was enough for Captain America’s breakfast. The pizzas were respectable, fully furnished without clutter. Just the right amount of base and not greasy.
The seafood chowder went down a treat and looked to me to be a meal in itself. The mixed fish platter had oysters Kilpatrick, scallops, salmon, ling, chips, salad and condiments of tartare and pesto. The pescetarians passed on the oysters and having watched Four Corners recently, wouldn’t come at the salmon.
The godson had the underwhelming and uninspired calamari and chips which tasted like it was well-travelled although the menu describes it as local.
Hotel Bruny understands their market – as much as possible – food is sourced from the island and the Channel area. There are plenty of the choices you would expect to see at most suburban hotels. It’s honest, hard-working fare.
You’ll find Hotel Bruny on Main Road, Alonnah. They’re open 7 days with all day dining between 11 am and late. Call them for a reservation on 03 6293 1148.
You can find their menu on their website – Hotel Bruny
They’re on Facebook – Hotel Bruny
Last time I ate pub food on an island – Eating out on Flinders Island.