Menu - Mr Yum
At a glance, some smart new lettering and a fresh lick of paint is all that separates this Smith Street watering hole from its predecessor, the landmark Robert “Robbie” Burns Hotel. But it marks a new era for the late-19th-century corner pub.
Enter: Hotel Collingwood. It’s the first pub from the prolific cafe crew behind Bentwood, Clubhouse, Stanley and more. After many nights as a punter at the Robbie, Only Hospitality Group’s director Julien Moussi was dealt the opportunity to get his hands on it.
While seasoned regulars might be surprised by the bright new colour palette, the pub’s old bones remain intact, with a few familiar features. Original ledges still hang strong on the walls and the 100-year-old chevron flooring remains underfoot (though it’s a few shades lighter after a six-hour sanding job). The old tartan carpet – which suited when the pub was named after a Scottish poet – has been replaced by a more modern olive-green.
The menu that flits between classic pub grub and modern, Asian-inspired “beer food”. Start off with kingfish sashimi, pillowy tofu bao buns with gangjeong (Korean deep-fried rice puffs) or spicy popcorn chicken. But if you’re after a big feed, there’s a panko-crumbed chicken parma and a mammoth 700-gram côte de boeuf for two with baby chat potatoes and broccolini.
On the drinks front, there are more than a dozen local beers on tap, a range of craft brews and a globetrotting wine list (with a strong local line-up, too). There’s also a fun cocktail list filled out with classics and crafty creations that tap into the food menu’s Asian inspiration, like the gin-spiked Lychee Lavender Collins or Thai Basil Smash.
There are four spaces across two levels – the front bar, the wine room, a private dining room and the leafy, summer-ready courtyard. Wherever you take a seat, though, there’s that familiar bright and airy vibe we’ve come to know from Only Hospitality venues. But it doesn’t take away from the pub’s historic charm, keeping this landmark neatly woven into the local fabric.
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