Assembly dining and the ‘ayes’ have it

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The juicy barbecue pulled-pork burger… came with a pineapple salsa, aioli and slaw. Photo: Wendy Johnson

“This is a place to hang out with family and friends to do pretty much whatever you’d like; watch sports on the big TV screens, settle into cosy leather booths or head to the sunny beer garden,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

CANBERRANS love to flock to new places and these days that’s straight to the new (and massive) pub in Braddon called Assembly (where Paddy Pallin and Braddon Cellars used to be). 

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson.

As its name suggests, this is a place to hang out with family and friends to do pretty much whatever you’d like. Watch sports on the big TV screens. Settle into cosy leather booths. Head to the sunny beer garden out the back to perch yourself at a picnic table or sit in the shade under the gigantic oak tree.

The fitout is fantastic – the gleaming polished concrete floors, exposed brick and wonderfully warm wooden tables all work in harmony. 

We hit Assembly on a Sunday for lunch hoping to get a table (it’s fair that no bookings are being taken while staff find their feet).

We lucked into a leather booth and ordered “small share” dishes at the bar. 

The halloumi fries with harissa yoghurt, pomegranate and mint ($15) were delightful and our tastebuds danced. The zucchini flowers, with goat’s cheese, maple glaze and parmesan ($16) were delish as was the kingfish sashimi with light soy ($16) – not too thick or thin.

We eyed the “big share” dishes, disappointed the 1.2kg roast lamb shoulder wasn’t available ($85 for four to six, with smoked yoghurt, cauliflower salad and flatbread). The rotisserie chicken isn’t available until after 5pm. 

The grilled, 300-gram sirloin… served with a mountain of fries, charred corn cob and mushroom sauce, pepper sauce, gravy or herbed butter. Photo: Wendy Johnson

From the grill section came the sirloin (300 grams for $33), cooked as ordered and tender. It was served with a mountain of fries, charred corn cob and mushroom sauce, pepper sauce, gravy or herbed butter. 

The chicken schnitty practically filled the entire plate ($23). It was served with charred corn and fries, and a choice of gravy, mushroom or pepper sauce (the extra gravy ordered didn’t initially arrive).

The barbecue pulled-pork burger was super juicy and came with a pineapple salsa, aioli and slaw. Get ready to get messy managing this one, but that’s part of the fun ($20).

To get our greens in we ordered beans ($8). They were cold, which surprised us, and came with a curry-type dukkah, which also surprised us since the menu just says “green beans”. 

The chicken schnitty… served with charred corn and fries, and a choice of gravy, mushroom or pepper sauce. Photo: Wendy Johnson

Most mains come with fries, but that’s no surprise given Assembly is a pub. The menu didn’t specify that the fries were seasoned, and all five of our dishes came with fries that were cold so we had to re-order. The staff member handled the situation with ease (as Assembly says, it’s still finding its feet). 

Wines are divided into “light and easy”, “textural and interesting” and funky, wild, out there. Lots of options, including some “feeling fancy” labels. Beer lovers won’t be disappointed.

Assembly, 11 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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