Under the supervision of acclaimed chef Andrew McConnell (Cumulus Inc, Cutler & Co.), the Builders Arms Hotel's restaurant offering has been an oft-evolving one, debuting as fine diner Moon Under Water in 2012, then dishing up modern Chinese as Ricky & Pinky since 2016. Now, a few licks of paint have seen the public bar and restaurant pulled together into one cohesive offering, as the building revisits its roots — that is, a quintessential locals' pub, but with style enough to impress your mum.
British Michelin-trained head chef Andy Barkham has designed one venue-wide menu: a contemporary, UK-accented lineup with something for after-work snack sessions in the bar, lazy weekend lunches in the dining room and everything in between.
It's set to change regularly, though, right now, you'll find dishes like Barkham's signature scotch eggs, mussels cooked with fermented chilli and pork sausage, and a proper Brit-style fish pie, loaded with rockling, prawn and smoked ocean trout. Public bar favourites like the legendary cod roe dip and the Builders Arms cheeseburger have stuck around, while the courtyard rotisserie spins a daily changing meat offering to really get excited about.
Like all good neighbourhood pubs, this one's also plating up a solid crop of weekly specials, from the locally loved Monday steak night, to Sunday's generous roast offering, cooked over charcoal and served with all the trimmings.
To match, there's a 12-strong tap beer rotation filled with favourites, and a considered crop of wines to suit just about every palate. Take yours out back to the leafy, secluded courtyard for the ultimate summer arvo pub sesh.
Food images: Kristoffer Paulsen. Interiors: Harvard Wang.