Dine in with Happy Wombat and enjoy native and ethical ingredients
It’s been a whopping four years since we first featured the Hunter St venue, and my golly hasn’t a thing or two changed since then!
After hitting some speedbumps during the COVID-19 restrictions, the Happy Wombat is back roaring and ready to go with their renovated interiors and updated native-inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
“We had no intention of doing a reno at the start of the year, but with us being forced to shut it offered an opportunity that we would never have again to do grind the floors up and hone the concrete. We also completely revamped the restaurant and front areas,” Luke explained.
The refurbished space almost feels like a brand-new venue but with those same Happy Wombat vibes. Cosy, warm and inviting but at the same time a little grungy and industrial; we’re totally vibing the new Happy Wombat space.
Being the true foodies that we are, we were excited to sample the venue’s new native-inspired menu and that meant checking out over fifteen dishes across all three menus. If your tummy isn’t grumbling yet, just you wait until you see these dishes!
“I’ve always wanted to use native and ethical ingredients, but we struggled to find a regular supply. Now, we’ve been able to source ingredients like quandongs, rosella flowers, native thyme, Sea celery, Tasmanian pepper berry, etc on a regular basis we’ve been able to put them on our menu full time.”
For brunch, you can expect to see all your typical favourites including Smashed Avo with feta and dukkah on toasted Sonoma sourdough, the Happy Wombat take on a veggie breakfast; The Healthy Wombat with free-range eggs, avocado, roast tomato, truffled mushroom, pesto, labneh, rocked and toasted Sonoma sourdough, and the big breakfast; The Fat Wombat with free-range eggs, bacon, sausage, mushroom, truss tomato, rosti, house relish, and Sonoma sourdough.
You’ve also got your standard Eggs Benedict with house-made hollandaise sauce and served with your choice of ham, salmon or pulled pork. Or enjoy something a little lighter such as the Warm Winter Porridge with coconut milk, fresh berries, brown sugar, and toasted coconut or the Sonoma Spiced Honey Granola with yoghurt, fresh berries, and honey.
For the sweet tooth breakfast lovers, the house-made Buttermilk Pancakes with either honeycomb butter, fresh berries and maple syrup or berry compot, and mascarpone is a must! Enjoy breakfast with a hot cup of joe with beans from Toby’s Estate or freshly made juice!
When it comes to the venue's lunch offerings, you’ve got an array of big and small dishes (for one or too share), as well as a bunch of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and of course salads.
Get a round of share plates to start with the Honey Baked Brie served with caramelised onion and crisp flatbread, the Lamb & Harissa Sausage Rolls with Moroccan style couscous, tomato relish and mint yoghurt, a Mezze Plate complete with house-made pickles, marinated olives, beetroot relish, romesco, labneh, pesto, prosciutto, salami and arananci, and the Confit Cajun Pork Belly Bites with mango salsa and house-made jalapeno relish.
If you’re after something a bit heartier check out the Glenelg Grassfed Beef Burger with bacon, Swiss cheese, house-made zunni pickle and Kirby’s famous tomato relish with fries or for the vegans you’ve got to taste the Eggplant Schnitzel Burger with vegan cheese, aioli, rocket and tomato relish.
Dinner goers can expect all the same deliciousness as you’d find on the lunch menu but of course with a dedicated dessert menu. Treat yourself to the 300g Scotch Fillet with native herb-roasted hand-cut potato wedges, seasonal greens, and rosella flower, and pepper berry jus or the colourful Pan-seared Daintree Barramundi with lemon myrtle laksa, couscous, and steamed greens, or the Roasted Macadamia and Chicken Pasta served with macadamia nuts, semi-dried tomato, baby spinach, white wine cream sauce and Danish feta with the kitchen’s famous house-made fettuccini.
Wash it all down with a schooner of one of the venue’s Indie Australian beers or New Zealand Craft beers from The Garage Project. Side note; The Happy wombat is one of only 11 venues Australia-wide to stock the Wellington-based breweries’ beers!
“We now have two taps dedicated to New Zealand Craft to complement our 8 other taps of Indie Australian beer. Garage Project, a Wellington-based brewery, has risen to become one of the best breweries on Earth, and as such we are dedicating regular space to them giving us access to their limited releases.”
Those after a cheeky afternoon cocktail can peruse their dedicated aperitif menu filled with all your favourites including the Mojito, Amaretto Sour, and Old Fashioned as well as some Happy Wombat specials including the Wacky Wombat, the Wombats on the Green and their take on an Espresso Martini; Wombat Original with Patron XO and vodka or the Nutty Wombat made with Mr. Blacks coffee liqueur and Frangelico.
Next time you plan on visiting the Newcastle West venue, book your table ahead and enjoy the newly renovated interiors and revamped dining experience!