The Mex Club at Mayfield has come up with a clever concept that addresses an age-old problem: families or friends wanting to dine out but unable to agree on what to eat.
It's called Hanbury 58 Food Collective and it opened on September 1, replacing the club's previous all-you-can-eat buffet offering.
The idea is simple. You book a table, meet up with your group, and then you all go your separate ways and order what you like, returning to your table to enjoy your meals - together. The large dining area has four distinct cuisines - and menus - to choose from.
"We saw a gap in the market where families often can't decide where to go for lunch or dinner because of different needs and desires at the time," a spokesperson for Hanbury 58 said.
"Hanbury 58 is Newcastle's newest restaurant, offering a 'collective' of four different menus, a cafe and a dessert bar. We developed Hanbury 58's brands while keeping in mind what Newcastle's proven crowd favourites are.
"The venue has a capacity of more than 350 people, which also lends itself to being a great location for private functions.
"Months before we opened Hanbury 58, we transformed the service area with much-needed renovations to make our vision a reality, creating a warm, inviting location where people can get together, enjoy good food and spend quality time with family and friends."
Hanbury 58 is home to Maria's Italian, Chippies, The Chicken Shop, Soho Grill, Butter Cafe and Lulu's Sundae Bar.
"They are all managed by the same team," the spokesperson said.
"Each of these brands features its own menu to ensure we cater for everyone around the table."
Chippies Burger & Fish
On the menu are burgers, fish, prawns, oysters, calamari, salads, sides and chips. There is an interesting "Build Your Own Fish" option where you choose either market fish, salmon or barramundi, then choose your flavour (natural sea salt and black pepper; Moroccan spice; garlic butter) and your side (mixed leaf salad; pan-fried seasonal greens; chips with rosemary salt). There is also a Seafood Tasting Plate (serves two) with natural oysters, salmon, bang bang prawns, battered fish, hot and salty calamari, chips and grilled focaccia.
Entrees include parmesan, mushroom, porcini and truffle mayo arancini; pork meatballs; and garlic prawns. They are 17 "hand-stretched" pizzas to choose from, including the La Carne Mania (white salami, smoked ham, Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella and oregano) and the Spinaci (garlic crema, spinach, smoked mozzarella, dried chilli oil and lemon). Choose from Pasta Frutti Di Mare (spaghettini with prawns, squid, cherry tomato and bisque sauce) or the Pasta Al Pesto 25 (orecchiette with pork sausage, broccolini, chilli, garlic and homemade basil sauce) as well as a range of salads.
Choose from skewers (tandoori chicken, chermoula lamb or surf & turf), pork ribs, steaks (lamb, rump, wagyu MB4+, scotch fillet MB2+ or rib eye on the bone) and sauces and sides.
The Chicken Shop
Here, you choose a crumbed schnitzel or a grilled chicken breast and then "build your own" by choosing a topping (options include Parmigiana, Malibu, The Mex, Creamy Pacific, The Godfather and The Italian Job) and, finally, a side (mixed leaf salad or chips). There are also wings, a half-BBQ chicken and chicken tenders.
Offers an all-day menu with freshly baked cakes, pastries, grab-and-go meals and an extensive coffee selection.
Lulu's Sundae Bar
Self-serve, soft-serve ice-cream and lollies for $8 per serve.
As for specials, on Monday there's $19 Soho skewers. Tuesday, order a schnitzel with chips or salad from The Chicken Shop for $15. On Wednesday, grab a Chippies burger and chips for $14. And Thursday? Two for one pizzas at Maria's.
Hanbury 58 Food Collective, The Mex Club, Mayfield. Open seven days, 11am to 2.30pm, and 5pm to 9pm. Go to hanbury58.au to book.
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