I am quite sure that many who have visited Harrigan's Irish Pub in the Hunter Valley would agree that this is one of the most happening places in this region. The Pub, bustling with activity, is the perfect place to experience a little bit of that Irish charm in the Valley. With authentic Irish deco running throughout the place, Harrigan's (unlike many other pubs) are open to reservations. A reservation, in my opinion, is an absolute necessity, especially on busy weekends and during school holidays. During our visit to the pub, I did witness many people being turned down due to lack of seating space.
Yes, the pub was filled to the brim on the Saturday night we were there. There are many seating areas that you could choose from. On a cold night the best would be near the open fire place. Though the fire is not actually lit, the stone fire place does create that warm feeling when you are seated next to it. With the vast outside dinning area overlooking the vineyards, I am sure would be ideal for a warm summer evening.
The pub does not attract the usual pub goers only. Fancifully dressed women; small and large groups of friends, and even families with children dine in till quite late at Harrigan's Irish Pub.
Our Harrigan's experience started at the bar with my usual request to whisk up a mock-tail. The bartender, polite as ever was very obliging, and the mock-tail he cooked up was nothing sort of divine.
Then on to our meals we went. The ordering system is quite systematic and efficient. The staff are extremely friendly and willing to listen. So this is how it goes...
You decide on your choice of meals at the table, and order at the counter like any other pub. But here you are not given the table buzzer. Instead the staff give you a chance to sit, relax and enjoy your drinks with company, while they themselves bring the meals to the table. Simple yet effective. Since the pub was bustling with people, we were expecting a delay with the meals; but to our surprise and delight our meals arrived at the table quite quickly.
At our table there were no complaints about the taste or the quantity of food. Everyone dived in with enthusiasm. I could not resist the beef and Guinness pot pie ($22.90) that so many were ranting about. The pot pie was nothing short of perfection, with a combination of melt in the mouth chunks of beef coated in a rich thick sauce with that distinct flavour of Irish Guinness beer. It created such a sensation in my mouth, I was absolutely hooked with the first spoonful. The pot pie, which is served with seasonal vegetables and creamy mash potatoes, is enough to fill you up. Twenty three dollars well spent I should say.
Another one of my favourites at Harrigan's is the succulent juicy ribs ($38.90). The plate of ribs is large enough to be shared by two adults. The ribs are an absolute delight, coated with the most sumptuous thick sauce I have ever tasted.
Harrigan's not only is a place to dine, but is also a place to stay. They offer comfortable, affordable accommodation throughout the year. If visiting the region, Harrigan's is a place to experience for sure.
Where: 2090 Broke Road Pokolbin NSW.
Why: Fantastic place to hang out with friends or family. Good food, great service, and above all a well stocked bar.
Cost: Mains start at $19.90
When: breakfast, lunch & dinner.