The Erko Has Enlisted a Former Chiswick Chef to Give Its Pub Feeds a Serious Makeover

The pub's new menu pairs classic mains and unexpected share plates with fresh local produce sourced from Erskineville's community garden.
Ben Hansen
November 02, 2023

Beloved Inner West pub The Erko has given its menu a hyper-local revamp with the help of the new top dog in the kitchen, ex-Chiswick chef Ethan Robinson. Borrowing inspiration from Matt Moran's Woollahra favourite and its in-house garden, the new selection of eats at The Erko leans on fresh local produce — including ingredients from Erskineville's community garden — in order to reimagine classic pub fare.

"We're making our own bread, hand cutting the chips, crumbing the chickens, fermenting and pickling in-house using surplus, blemished and oddly shaped produce, using herbs and veggies sourced locally, and composting our kitchen waste," says Robinson.

"We have a little patch at the Erko Road Community Garden next door where we're growing herbs, native greens, chillies, cherry tomatoes, garlic chives, carrots, and Jerusalem artichokes. We're also using local honey and have locally made hot sauces too."

If you're heading in for an afternoon beer and you're after some finger food, the zucchini fritti is our pick — a bowl of super-crispy little morsels paired with a creamy no-fuss herb mayo. Alternatively, opt for the fried chicken sliders that are brought to life with the addition of honey, hot sauce and a crunch of lettuce.

If you want to get fancy, The Erko has jumped on the ceviche trend and added kingfish with dill, cucumber and a citrus dressing (see below) to the starters menu — plus, you can score $2 oysters every Sunday from midday. And, the salad selection has also been freshened up, with the standout being a vibrant octopus and chickpea salad that can work as a pesco-friendly main or a light share plate.

The mains don't venture too far from what you'd expect from your local pub (nobody wants to head in with a parmi on their mind and not find it). What Robinson has done is add a little flair to these tried-and-true classics, with the schnitzel topped with parmesan and crispy capers, the steak paired with chimichurri butter, and the team is working with local seafood suppliers to provide a catch of the day that spotlights lesser-known wild-caught fish.

"You can still just pop in for a burger or schnitty — but they'll taste so much better than a regular pub feed," says Robinson.

The Erko is located at 102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville.

Images: Steven Woodburn

Published on November 02, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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