A suburban pub packed to the brim with families, regular diners and pretty much anyone who is keen to tuck into a hearty meal.
That’s the desired everyday scene for Colin Fassnidge and his crew, as they bring their kitchen hands to the bistro at Miranda Hotel, where a taste of Ireland has made its way to Sutherland Shire.
The My Kitchen Rules judge is ready to serve hungry shire folk at his new bistro, with doors opening on Friday, February 8.
His expanded partnership with the Ryans Hotel group signifies the chef’s growing ‘By Fassnidge’ pub portfolio.
It’s a joint venture that follows the chef’s take-over of Banksia Hotel in 2017, and builds Fassnidge’s empire by targeting lovers of simple, tasty dishes.
Along for the chef ride, Darwin Leonarr from Banksia and Jamie Gannon from Terminus, Pyrmont.
“I’m feeling pretty good because we already know the Ryans who own Banksia and we work quite well together,” Fassnidge said.
“Miranda is well set up for us – not like Banksia was when we took over. Here they have great staff and loyal patronage.”
Fassnidge said the Miranda Hotel location just made sense.
“You don’t really pick a spot – it picks you,” Fassnidge said.
“We were offered a place around Surry Hills, Paddington, but what we learnt from Banksia is that these are the areas where families have mortgages like me – they need to eat.
“You’re going to get as good as you get in the city but this is about having return visits. We don’t want fashionistas or trendies.”
The shire is not a huge throw from Fassnidge’s home at Malabar. He’s already become quite the return guest.
“I’ve been to the shire lots,” he said. “I have friends at Gymea and know Paul from the hamburger joint at Sylvania.
“I’ve come to know that shire people are relaxed, but hey, if you don’t give them what they, they’ll let you know.”
Mouth-watering simplicity will be brought back to the people, business partner Clayton Ries said.
“It’s about taking good food out to the suburbs because pubs are the hubs of community,” he said.
“They lost their way for a while and became focused more on gaming than being places where people can socialise.”
Light, open and airy is already an ideal fit – a place where they can smoothly mesh into a well-established setting.
“The venue itself is nicely presented,” Ries said. “We don’t want to make a huge noise, just bring our menu and style.
“There are good pubs in the area but what we will bring is quality produce. We’re going to make everything from scratch. There’s a lot of TLC in everything we do.”
As for what to expect on the plate, think fresh and home-style pub food.
The menu is a condensed yet consistent version of the ‘by Fassnidge’ food philosophy, with the goal of progressively bringing in specials.
The juicy lamb shoulder is sure to be favourite along with traditional pub classics with a twist.
The Reuben, Sunday roast, burgers, beer battered market fish and chips, kingfish sashimi, sesame prawn toast, and steaks galore will tantalise taste buds.
Start off with some charred bread and marinated olives or buttermilk chicken wings, and top it off with a summer cool watermelon salad with fennel.
Snitzels are made in-house with Fassnidge’s breadcrumb creation, and time is taken to develop full flavours. The slow-cooked lamb shoulder gets roasted for 12 hours, and the red wine jus takes about three days to make.
For parties of 10, pre-order a whole suckling pig, which weighs in at a solid 14 kilograms. For a lighter feed, a suckling pig sausage roll with apple sauce does the finger-lickin’ trick.
Gluten free and vegan options are also available. A main standout – the baked cauliflower with lemon and mustard.
But the effort doesn’t stop at the stove, with the team’s desire to get to know who’s sitting on the chairs.
“We want that whole feel of friendliness. We want to know families and their kids. We want their feedback,” Ries said.
“Book or just rock up and there will be a table. There’s a rowdy section, a family area, and two-seat tables for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.”
590 Kingsway, Miranda, 9524 0398.