The popular restaurant returns to The Crown and Anchor Hotel
In case you hadn’t heard, Sprout Dining is back at The Crown and Anchor Hotel! After a few years of closure, the restaurant quietly opened back up in October 2023, bringing back its fresh, hearty food to the people of Newcastle.
The second-storey dining space is an inviting spot to gather with friends and experience Sprout’s ever-changing menu.
Before Covid hit, Sprout had to endure all the difficulties that came with running a hospitality business in the midst of the building of Newcastle’s light rail, with Tom saying that it was “torturous and soul-breaking in a way.”
The decision was made to close the restaurant, and the post-Covid period was spent catching up on the many catering bookings that had been postponed.
Now, there’s no need to worry that Sprout Dining will have to close again – owners Tom and Jacqueline Brown now own The Crown and Anchor completely, so, to quote Tom, they’re here “forever.”
“We’ve been in hospitality collectively for 70 years, we’ve travelled around the world and for us, we want somewhere that we can call ours. Now we have that,” Tom said.
The reopening has seen Sprout get back to what it does best – simple yet delicious food, made with the best seasonal ingredients.
“For us, it’s not reinventing the wheel or milking a cat for cheese. It’s just tasty, good, seasonal food that you can eat and enjoy.”
The most interesting thing about Sprout’s menu? Day to day, it’s never the same. Not only does this mean that you’ll probably never eat the same thing twice at Sprout, but it gives the kitchen the chance to be creative.
“Hospitality is hard enough, so we need to be able to sit back and have a good time and have a bit of fun… A lot of people get into [hospitality] to be creative, then they lose the passion because they don’t get to make stuff.”
Having an ever-changing menu is Sprout’s way of getting creative in the kitchen while using the freshest produce they can get their hands on. When we stop by to chat with Tom, the kitchen whips up a salad with nectarine, prosciutto, cucumber, and herbs.
“Sometimes, you get produce that’s super tasty and you don’t need to touch… They’re beautiful nectarines at the moment, and if you pull a nectarine apart and it’s beautiful and juicy, why do you need to stuff around with it?”
While the food changes up depending on what ingredients are on hand, the team do have a bit of a template for what dishes get plated up each night. Everything is made in-house, and all the mains stay around the $30 mark.
Talking to Tom, it’s evident how much passion goes into making delicious food at Sprout Dining. Thankfully, it's here on Newcastle’s dining scene for the long haul.
“I just want to have a place that I would like to go to, and people can feel comfortable coming to forever.”