Since it was established in 1861, the Robert Burns Hotel has seen various iterations with the most recent being a Spanish themed restaurant. New owner and proud publican, Gerry Nass is making a bold move to refresh expectations of how to enjoy a good time at this local pub. This improved incarnation sets the bar high when it comes to pub dining, and is set to reclaim Robert Burns Hotel’s title as a landmark Collingwood pub.
A talented new chef duo have joined the crew - Celebrated Italian chef, Danny Russo from Russolini is collaborating with former Atlantic Group head-chef, David Maclean to reignite the menu. Think modern bistro meets nonna’s kitchen.
We loved tasting our way through the new menu. To start, the charred octopus was an absolute highlight. The octopus was incredibly tender while retaining a robust structure courtesy of being expertly cooked and well-seasoned by the heady squid ink which delivered a luxurious salinity and also enhanced the flavours of the octopus.
The burrata was similarly delicious. This cheese sensation demonstrated that unforgettable dishes can sometimes be very simple. In this instance, a ball of unadulterated burrata simply paired with pickled persimmon and prosciutto. When the outer solid mozzarella shell was cut, we loved how the creamy interior of soft, stringy curd and fresh cream revealed itself. The sumptuously rich yet sensibly balanced flavours were sensational.
For mains the fish of the day, (on this occasion, a whole flounder) exceeded expectations. Cooked to absolute perfection, the natural sweetness of the very fresh fish was allowed to shine through.
Also very notable, was the reimagined chicken parma. Lightly crumbed chicken breast was topped with prosciutto, tomato, melted buffalo mozzarella and served with a side of fries. Simply beautiful and a must have when at the pub.
You can be friends with salad at Robert Burns. We recommend you try the roast cauliflower salad. This was a true crowd-pleaser - an amalgamation of caramelised roasted cauliflower florers, burnt leeks, hazelnuts and rocket topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds and heady parmesan.
Dessert time continued to please. The almond coconut panna cotta was texturally perfect, just barely holding its shape and boasted complexity with a subtle sour "twang" courtesy of being served with rhubarb and strawberries.
The tiramisu was yet again, delicious - Traditionally made and utterly comforting.
On the drinks front, fine wine is available for every palette or if you prefer a stiff drink, there is a solid cocktail and spirit list. An extensive selection of classic Aussie and craft is set to impress with 14 tap beers and ciders and more than 30 tinnies in both standard or longies.
Located on the corner of Smith and Easey Streets, this new phase in the life of the Robert Burns Hotel is an exciting one. We simply cannot wait to return.
Location: 376 Smith St, Collingwood
Phone: (03) 9417 2233