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By Libby Curran
June 29, 2020
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Melbourne's Best Hearty Winter Roasts

Warm up on a wintry weekend with juicy roast meats and plenty of gravy.
By Libby Curran
June 29, 2020
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MELBOURNE'S BEST HEARTY WINTER ROASTS

Warm up on a wintry weekend with juicy roast meats and plenty of gravy.

When it comes to chill-busting winter comfort food, a classic roast dinner has got to be up there with the best: succulent meat, crispy veg and lashings of rich gravy to pull it all together. But right now, with all the kitchen time you've been putting in during isolation, it's a safe bet your ultimate roast is one that's whipped up by someone else.

Thankfully, now that dining out is on the cards once more, you'll find plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes that'll happily hook you up with that homemade roast dinner fix you've been craving. Perhaps a British-style roast beef with yorkshire pudding? Or a classic porchetta? Here are seven winter roasts to add to your dining out hit-list, ASAP.

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From 11.59pm on Wednesday, July 1, until at least Wednesday, July 29, stay-at-home orders have been reintroduced in ten Melbourne postcodes, which means their residents can only leave for one of four reasons: work or school, care or care giving, daily exercise or food and other essentials. For more information, head to the DHHS website. 

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    Melbourne’s viking-inspired eatery Mjolner is once more plating up its own riff on the winter roast, across a rotating selection of fire-licked ‘Beast Feature’ hero dishes. There’s the roast porchetta, now available for Saturday night feasting, while a hearty lamb chump and ham hock are taking turns hitting the menu the rest of the week, with limited serves on offer each night. Each feature comes matched with a changing lineup of accompaniments that have the chefs flexing some serious creative muscle. And if you want to keep your drinks on theme as well, go for the bar’s legendary hot cocktail, the Blazing Glogg ($23) — a blazed infusion of cognac, port, cranberry and wintery house spices.

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  • 6

    At Abbotsford’s cosy old-school pub, the Sunday roast is a much-loved tradition. So much so, it’s the one weekly special that’s already made its swift return post-lockdown. The Retreat is now once again serving up a weekly changing dish of roasted goodness, priced at an easy $20. It usually involves a hearty serve of roast pork, beef or lamb, teamed with all the classic trimmings — winter veggies and loads of thick gravy, guaranteed. Grab yourself one of these, a pint of craft beer and a spot in front of the footy, and your weekend is looking pretty enviable.

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  • 5

    Sunday session of choice for many a food-loving northsider, Neighbourhood Wine’s long-running weekend roast menu promises to impress. It’ll set you back an easy $55 for three generous courses — plus a cheeky serve of naturally leavened house sourdough — with the lineup changing regularly. You could be in for a fall-apart lamb shoulder with green beans, potatoes and preserved lemon, or perhaps some roast beef with mustard jus and yorkshire pudding. Add-ons are also available. As a bonus, the wine bar’s cosy, timber-filled spaces make for an idyllic winter lunch setting and its wine curation features plenty of warming reds.

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  • 4

    Epocha’s Sunday roast scored legend status long ago, so fans will be stoked to learn it’s back and ready to warm your cockles this winter. Just as before, the modern European restaurant is serving up a rotating roster of three-course roast feeds for $50. Kick things off with some shared entrees, then it’s onto that week’s tender roast with matched sides, including the all-important crispy duck fat potatoes. Each Sunday’s offering is listed on the website in advance for you to have a peek.

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  • 3

    After a bit of a spruce-up, the much-loved Rochey is back in action, with a revamped food offering to match. The Fitzroy pub’s starting lineup is a wintery, roast-focused set menu that’s primed for cosy sessions by one of its three roaring fires — with a glass of mulled wine in hand. You can tuck into two courses for $35, or three for $45, choosing between roasted mains like slow-cooked lamb with crispy potatoes and yorkshire pudding, or a weekly-rotating pork, beef or chicken number. Even vegans can get in on the action, with the zucchini, hazelnut and lentil roast, starring seasonal veggies and plenty of house-made gravy.

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  • 2

    If you find yourself in the backstreets of South Melbourne on a Sunday afternoon, there’s one thing that should be high priority: a hearty weekend roast at classic corner pub The Montague. The kitchen’s generous $25 Sunday roast special is a long-running favourite, swinging through a weekly rotating menu, each variation served with all the must-have trimmings. Maybe it’ll be some slow-roasted lamb shoulder matched with crispy spuds and slaw, or perhaps a plate of pork starring plenty of crackling and roasted veggies. Nab a spot by the pub’s open fire for full effect.

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  • 1

    Historic Carlton pub The Lincoln is best known for its progressive booze offering and its produce-driven gastropub fare — oh, and its time-honoured Sunday roast situation. With the doors now reopened, all three are back on the menu and bookings are already filling up for the $30 weekly-changing roast specials to come. One weekend you might find yourself getting acquainted with some roast porchetta starring braised leeks, apple sauce and gravy, while the next, it’s all about the roast beef with spiced pumpkin and yorkshire pudding. And if you fancy teaming that Sunday feed with an interesting wine or top Aussie craft beer, consider yourself totally spoilt for choice.

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Top image: The Rochester Hotel.

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