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Enjoying pub grub in the rose garden

Fish and chips at Connor’s Public House.

Fish and chips at Connor’s Public House.

Published May 14, 2022

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Connor’s Public House

Where: Glenridge Centre, 46 Ashley Avenue, Glen Ashley

Open: Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm, Sunday 11am to 9pm.

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Call: 031 563 4462

The first thing that’s unusual about this pub is the manicured rose garden at the entrance. The white roses are in full bloom. It’s certainly inviting.

The second thing is that there’s a warm welcome. The main pub area has a bright and breezy feel to it. There’s none of that dark and dingy feel you often get walking into a pub. And it’s not cluttered with mountains of stuff that collects dust.

It’s busy on a Tuesday night. We decide to sit on the outside terrace overlooking the rose garden where Andrew can puff on his pipe over a draught beer. The glass man and I order the gin and tonic specials.

Eisbein bits, jalapeno poppers and deep fried squid heads.

The menu carries so many simple pub favourites, like sausage and mash and eisbein. Each evening has a different theme and on Tuesdays it’s substantial discounts ‒ 40% ‒ of selected mains. Wednesday lunch is pensioner’s special, and evenings pizza night. On Thursdays certain meals come with a complimentary Guinness, while Fridays are for burgers and on Saturdays you’re encouraged to wing it. Sundays offer a roast at the super price of R87 (while stocks last, the menu advertises ‒ I’m sure there’s a reason for that).

Weekends also see live music and there are quiz nights and bingo sessions and stuff like that. The Connor family try to keep it like a no-frills home away from home and a focal point of the Glen Ashley community.

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Cottage pie served with chips.

We decided to share a nibbles platter for starters, which can be made up from crumbed mushrooms, samoosas, pork bangers or cheese grillers. There’s panko prawns, deep-fried Camembert, falafels and halloumi fingers. We like the sound of eisbein bits (R48). Partly because the eisbein we see at the next table tells us we would never finish it, and now we can taste it.

This was inspired, succulent and crispy and coated in a not too heavy barbecue sauce; we lapped them up quickly. We also enjoyed the squid heads (R33), and while jalapeno poppers (R35) are never going to be my thing, my friend enjoyed them.

For mains I was tempted by a steak. Where else can you get a T-bone for R159, or 300g rump for R135? You can ask for any steak to be topped with a fried egg if you want to eat it Portuguese style, or there are sauces like cheese, blue cheese, spicy mushroom, peri-peri or barbecue. There’s also a boneless beef or chicken curry, or chicken cordon bleu or a kg of wings “hot or not”.

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Liver and onions with mashed potato and creamed spinach and butternut.

But instead I spotted something not often seen on Durban menus: liver and onions on mash (R99). This was most enjoyable even if the liver could have been slightly less cooked, but it came with a lovely rich onion gravy and piles of vegetables.

The glass man went for another item not often seen on Durban menus, this time cottage pie (R92), which was a very cheesy-topped one. And while the base was more akin to Bolognese than cottage pie, it was an enjoyable dish. It came with some good crisp chips. Andrew enjoyed his fish and chips (R105).

We finished up with good creamy Irish coffees (R45) as we watched Liverpool beat Aston Villa at Villa Park. It was an enjoyable evening.

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Food: 3

Service: 3½

Ambience: 3½

The Bill: R589.10 for three

The Independent on Saturday

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