The ingredients for a great day out are pretty simple really…good company, good food and a relaxing environment. At Westend Pumphouse you can rest assured that you’ll get all three!
This was the last day of our holidays, and we were going to do whatever it took to finish on a high. So first up it was going to be lunch at Westend Pumphouse, to be followed by dinner at a restaurant that has been near the top of my ‘must try’ list for years now…Garagistes!
First impressions of Westend Pumphouse were fantastic as we walked inside. High ceilings replete with exposed roof trusses, air conditioning ducting, open floor plan and a rather eclectic yet modern style of decor. I’m not sure what was going on with the motorcycle helmet balancing precariously above the bar though…?! Modern art?
I thought the layout to be quite clever, with something to please all walks of life. Towards the front of the room was a large iron wood heater, consuming copious amounts of wood in its efforts to make the patrons blush. Around this crackling centrepiece you could choose to sit at either a very inviting leather lounge, a side table seating four (perhaps for the solo diners?), and some scattered tables for larger groups.
In the heart of Westend Pumphouse lies the bar. Its sweeping, curved front, chrome beer pipe (is that even a thing…? sounds illegal!) and bespectacled staff member watching over the patrons made me think of the main bridge from some sort of spaceship. Can you tell that we just finished watching all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica?! Very well stocked, with both alcohol and some delicious looking cakes under glass domes, those looking for a liquid lunch wouldn’t walk away disappointed!
Then, behind the bar was another collection of your more traditional tables, suitable for larger groups if needed.
The service and attention provided to us throughout the meal was fantastic. Very prompt in greeting us, providing options on where we would prefer to be seated, and then timely in the provision of menus and in taking our orders.
The extremely comprehensive and varied menu seems to have recently been updated at Westend Pumphouse, keeping things fresh for both the chefs and guests alike. I was famished, and the wagyu steak with braised leek and relish sounded like just the thing I was looking for! Karen on the other hand was interested in trying their pulled pork sliders (I mean seriously, who doesn’t like pulled pork?!).
If I had to describe both these dishes in one word only, I’d probably choose ‘nice’.
Both had been prepared well, with the wagyu cooked to medium rare as preferred by the chef. The marriage of flavours in each dish worked well on the palate and overall we both felt satisfied. It wasn’t as good as some other venues I’ve eaten at, but it was certainly a lot better than others! I neglected to take note of the pricing, but in general the main meals at Westend Pumphouse tend to vary from the low to high 20s. Considering the excellent ambience and service I’d call that good value.
Even better though was the wine list, with, of all things, a Malbec on offer by the glass! My favourite of all the wine varieties, it seems that Malbecs are slowly gaining a footing in the Australian restaurant scene, and for good reason! If you haven’t tried one before, I strongly recommend that you make your way down to Cool Wine and ask for their best Argentinian Malbec, from the high altitude Mendoza district if possible. You won’t be disappointed!
Westend Pumphouse provide a warm, inviting atmosphere in which you can enjoy anything ranging from a glass of wine or cocktail, through to cake and coffee, to a full multi-course lunch or dinner.
It was interesting to note on their menu that if you can bring in another nine porcine appreciators in with you, they actually offer a whole pig with all the trimmings for $45pp! Alternatively, if you’re happy to leave all the decisions in the hands of the chef, you can pay $65pp for the “Let us feed you” chef’s menu.
Similarly, for the wine lovers out there, they also appear to offer the occasional winemaker’s dinner. The next one is actually scheduled to occur this week on Wednesday night (13th August, 2014), and will cost you $85pp for wines by McLaren Vale winemaker, S.C. Pannell, and accompanying food. Sounds like a great night out to me!
We left happy, and in full agreement with all the other happy punters whose reviews we’d read prior to making the booking. It isn’t fine dining, but nor does it try to sell itself as such. What they do offer is a fantastic environment in which good food and good friends come together!
If it’s the menu you’re interested in, have a look here.
Flavours – 3.5/5
Menu – 4.5/5
Atmosphere – 5/5
Service – 5/5
Value – 4.5/5
Overall – 4/5