Stray Neighbour melds bar, restaurant and gastropub seamlessly — a feat that should not be taken for granted. Where a lounge area with pool table could have brought the warm industrial vibe of the dining area down towards 'grunge', it doesn't. Where a vast timber-clad bar area and casual booth-style seating with bare wooden tables could have made you doubt the focus on and delicacy of the food, it doesn't.
A wonderfully chameleonic beast, it's a destination for bar hoppers, foodies and all sorts of happy locals in between. The menu proper heroes seasonality and simplicity, with eats for snacking sessions right through to those long, friendly feasts. Fly by for crisp barbecue chicken ribs ($12.90) and truffled cheese arancini ($12), or settle in with the likes of a herb-crumbed chicken schnitzel ($24.90) and one of the top-notch steak dishes. A share-style 'feed me' menu clocks in at an easy $55, or $60 with dessert.
Meanwhile, a new weekend breakfast offering holds its own against the neighbourhood's ever-buzzing cafe set — head in early to kick-start your morning (or battle your hangover) with the likes of honeyed ricotta doughnuts ($16), an oozy croque madame ($16), or guindilla-laced scrambled eggs($18.50). Matched with coffee by Supreme, it's a sure-fire weekend winner.
Images: Brook James