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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Boatbuilder's Yard

Walking past the Boatbuilder's Yard (23 South Wharf Promenade) in the past, I'd always been attracted by the chilled-but-buzzy vibe, timber overload (warm and inviting, don't you think?) and proximity to water (yep, that water thing again). A date gave me the opportunity to try it out on a school night, and I was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, the night before, I hadn't slept a wink. Not only was this detrimental to my general social performance, but it also meant I wasn't in a great frame of mind to make blog-style judgements on the bar/pub venue. However, I will do my best in retrospect.

Lots of timber

I ordered the house bubbles, served up by friendly and relaxed-looking barmen. We sat outside - because that's what you do at a waterside venue - but it was an overcast day and the wind was whipping the awnings around beside us. This didn't detract a lot from the feeling of open-air-water-proximity I love, but after a while it was a bit fraying and ended up with our relocation to the indoor section, which unfortunately suffered a bit of white-noise syndrome. Shame, because the outdoor sections are varied and plentiful - lots of levels, sun and shade, nooks and crannies, and differing views.


Food was reasonably priced and not bad for pub grub, especially considering its swanky location and the tendency of said location to influence prices. You order at the bar and they give you a beepy thing and you go pick it up from round the back. A little annoying when (a) it's a fair distance, (b) you have a lot of food, and (c) floor staff were floating around eagerly waiting for glasses to empty so they had something to do!

We shared some entrees: a tomato, pesto and goats cheese bruschetta, and some meatballs. Oddly, the bruschetta featured tomatoes halved rather than diced, which made for a more squirty, less bitsy-drippy-droppy bruschetta-eating experience (like those adjectives? yeah thanks) - but did provide more to hold onto. The meatballs were good and doused in a not-too-strong tomato sauce, which I appreciated because often tomato sauces can be overpowering on meat dishes, IMHO. It came with some tasty toasted bread.



Food provided energy, so by this point I was feeling a bit better. I couldn't pass up the mushroom burger for a main.... suckerrrrrrr for mushrooms, yes I know. It was served on a brioche roll with greens, cheese and a chipotle mayo, which I'd never tried - basically a pinkish coloured, paprika flavoured mayonnaise. Nice.

Mushroom brioche burger and chips

My companion had the steak sandwich, which looked good, if slightly standard:

Steak sandwich

I think this would be a fantastic place to sink a few drinks on a sunnier afternoon - a proper Sunday sesh. The food was good, and apparently they also do breakfast there, which could be worth trying. I will be going back just for the pleasantness of the surrounds.

Boardwalk through the plastic awning

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