I'm going to start this review with a rant about Coles. There is a fabulous new shopping centre in Zetland called the East Village. It is home to amazing independent fresh food shops, cafes, a gastro pub (The Village Crow) and a very flash Coles supermarket. Now not only are Coles trying to take over from the local butcher, baker, milkman, florist, fish monger, sushi maker, and con the fruiterer all over Australia, but they are now attempting to take over from the local cafe operator as well! They have their very own cafe smack bang in the middle of the bananas! Where will Mr Coles stop? And don't worry I know Mr Woollies is just as guilty. I'm actually quite surprised they haven't created crèches yet (actually maybe I wouldn't complain about that!). #supportsmallbusiness
OK my rant is over, so lets proceed with the review of The Village Crow. This is a cool gastro pub located on the exterior of the East Village. The first thing I notice when we wandered up was the number of families sitting outside with prams or with little ones sitting in high chairs, so a big tick straight away from me. As we walked through the front door we were warmly welcomed by a groovy chick who explained to us that you grab a menu from the bar, find a table, take in the cool surrounds and then come back to the bar and order our drinks and meals.
So this is exactly what we did. All of the families had taken the outside tables so we decided to sit inside and we plonked ourselves down next to another family. I'm a firm believer when dining at pubs/bars with kids that you should keep to your own tribe. For example I would not sit next to the hipsters having the hair of the dog or the glam besties bemoaning their boyfriends over bubbles. I don't want to inflict the antics of my kids on them and I also don't think it is fair that fellow patrons need to mind their "f bombs" etc just because I've decided to take my kids to the pub for lunch.
The interior of the Village Crow is what I would call cool inner city industrial meets day of the triffids. Exposed brick and cement walls, naked light bulbs, animal hair seats and loads of fake greenery hanging and growing everywhere. There is room to manoeuvre your pram and loads of high chairs for little ones to sit in. The cool unisex loos are decorated with old CD covers and it is quite fun to find the ones you used to or still have in your collection. There isn't a baby change table in here but there is a very decent parents room in the shopping centre that has all of the facilities that you need.
The Village Crow has a dedicated children's menu and it costs $8.00. Chicken Schnitzel & Chips, Grilled Chicken Tenderloins, Ham & Pineapple Pizza, Cheesy Pizza or Home Made Meatball Pasta are your choices. The cheesy pizza was delicious - the base was perfectly cooked and the Meatball Pasta was also yummy - fresh pasta, loads of meatballs and quite a spicy sauce. My babes aren't fans of chilli and there was a touch too much in the sauce, so sadly the pasta was left uneaten. If your kids can handle chilli then go for it, they will love it.
The adults menu has all of your typical pub fare but it's just a bit more "gastro" then your suburban watering hole bistro. So there are steaks, schnittys, burgers, ribs and pizzas plus loads of delicious salads all glammed up a bit. The spiced warm pumpkin, lentil and goats cheese salad is perfect for health nuts or those on a health kick and the grilled chicken salad was very yummy - perfectly cooked tenderloins with fetta, tomatoes and olives as well as loads of crunchy baby cos lettuce filled the large bowl, with a little dish of herby aioli on the side.
If you're not on a health kick and love your carbs, go for the pulled pork burger. Tender pork, slaw and a brioche type bun made up this bad boy and of course there was a side of excellent looking chunky fries. The fish & chips also looks excellent - big fillets of grilled barramundi come with a decent serving of the crunchy fries and I've heard that the pizzas are a winning choice as well.
Your kidlets may need a good run after their meal, as there is nothing much to keep them occupied in The Village Crow. So just across the road you will find Joynton Park, there is loads of green space for them to run around on and a cool water feature that they will probably want to muck about in. Afterwards pop back and check out how awesome the East Village is and do some shopping, you never know who you might run into - we spied the local member, Tanya Plibersek supporting a small business or two.
Shop 10, 2-4 Defries Ave, Zetland
02 9101 9800
Open 7 days: 11.30am - late