Prahrans Mount Erica Hotel gets a makeover and two new food offerings [gallery]

26 February, 2016 by Aoife Boothroyd

Prahran’s Mount Erica Hotel has undergone a significant makeover inclusive of a new team and two new offerings: Austin’s restaurant and Austin’s Pantry & Wine Bar.

Chef Sunny Gilbert (ex MoVida Next Door and Orange) is heading up the kitchen at the venue, and has created a menu of Spanish and Mediterranean-style tapas made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The venue gets its name from Gilbert’s son, Austin.

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Gilbert has brought long-time colleague, Ross Murray (ex MoVida Next Door, Jamie Oliver Italian Kitchen) over as venue manager. Owner of the venue, Mark McIlroy says that both Gilbert and Murray together have transformed the Hotel by leading it into a new direction inspired by their extensive experience in the industry.

Restaurant guests are presented with complementary house-baked bread on arrival and are invited to choose from a selection of tapas including: Boqueron – Spanish white anchovies, pickles; Sardines – lightly battered sardine fillet, pickled fennel; and Croqueta – Mahon and leek.

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The menu also features a selection of classic Spanish influenced dishes including; Calamari – pan fried, parsley, garlic, lemon, summer cress; Assadillo – tomato, roasted red peppers, onion, sherry vinegar; and Patatas Bravas – fried potatoes, mojo picon, aioli. Daily-rotating seafood and meat specials will also be on offer and are designed to accompany the larger share plates.

A succinct wine list has been carefully curated to complement the food offering and comprises varieties from local Victorian suppliers together with a number of European drops.

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Design wise, the revamped interior of the restaurant features cream tiles and brightly coloured walls, creating a rustic and inviting interior that gives the Hotel an element of Spanish flair.

The venue’s second new offering takes the form of Austin’s Pantry & Wine Bar; a delicatessen offering a selection of cheeses, French butter, charcuterie, conserves and in-house baked bread. Coffee, boutique wines and craft beer and are also available for purchase.

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