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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Impressions: The Stables - Craft Beer Bar @ Ascot

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When I think about craft beer and high quality gastro pub food I usually think of venues in and around the CBD but there is starting to be some change as the craft beer and re-imaged pub food makes its way a bit further from the City. 

Stables is located in the middle of busy Racecourse road in Ascot which is really quite a nice spot as you can enjoy the sometimes busy going's on on the outside (especially on market and race days)  or just enjoy the great looking exposed brick, dark wood and metal interior of The Stables whilst sipping on a brew or three.

Speaking of beer, there is a nice array of local and national Australian craft on tap and in bottles all displayed a neat little beer menu that sorts them by alcohol % which is pretty great if you aren't sure what to have but you know you are driving.

My only (minor) issue with the tap list is that because it's printed it may not always be 100% up to date, possibly a chalk board would make it easier to maintain a list of current taps.

Stables seems to primarily be for groups of people from 2+ to share and enjoy food and a few drinks rather than catering to hardcore beer nerds and this is perfect for the location where a heavy handed craft bar may not be frequented as much as one with a lighter approach.

Food ranges from olives to sliders to pork belly and even breakfast on the weekends and there really is a good amount to choose from so much so that we went with quite a few dishes to share.

The logistics of sharing them can be a little difficult but once we targeted what we wanted we simply split up the plates so everyone had something to eat from, we went with.. 

Hop Hog Battered Onion Rings w/ Chipotle Aioli
Chunky Popcorn Chicken
Triple Cream Brie Croquettes w/ Chipotle Salsa
Bourbon Glazed Porkbelly Paddle Pops w/ Peppered Sour Cream and Chives
Szechuan Peppered Squid w/ Asian slaw and Nam Jim
Wagyu Beef Sliders w/ Bacon, Swiss Cheese and Caramelised Onion

After sipping on a glass of Feral's Hop Hog I dug into the tasty treats we had ordered. Starting with what I'm going to say was the highlight for me, the Brie Croquettes! Creamy, crunchy and almost too much of a mouthful but totally delicious.

Then onto the popcorn chicken which was juicy and tender with a light crunch and presented with a BBQ sauce and garnished with greens and red radish.

Onion rings were fluffy and crunchy and some pieces were huge! whilst the Pork was soft and tender although the skin could have been crunchier.

The sliders were tasty but needed a little bit more sauce to make them perfect as the bun was a tiny bit dry, the squid however was just delicious and tender with a nice hit of chilli.

The only thing that was really missing from our table was a good aioli or mayo to cut through BBQ sauce and chilli.

Really the food is the standout at Stables with a little bit of something for everyone, at a glance some things seem a bit pricey but when sharing a few things they do become deceptively filling which makes the value stand out.

Pricing ranges from $9 for hand cut chips up to $16 for the slides.

I really quite enjoyed my experience at Stables, it's a good spot for a few quiet drinks and a nice session of snacking or a quiet lunch and the fact that it's in a location that is for the most part pretty easy to get to and park in just adds to the appeal.

If you want a satisfying meal it's worth checking out especially if you are on the north side of the city where we seem to often be forgotten about!

I took way too many food photos so I'll leave a bunch below.

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