Aldgate Pump Hotel

There’s not a lot of places I love more in the world than the Adelaide Hills in winter. The scenery, the roads, the pubs, the food, the beer and wine. If I had all the money in the world and could buy a house anywhere, it would still be in the hills. So on a wintery Friday I gathered a couple of mates and we took a trip up the freeway for an afternoon in the Hills. Our first stop was at a favourite pub of mine, the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

Location: 1 Strathalbyn Road Aldgate South Australia 5154

We arrived at around 1230 and initially went to the bistro at the back and sat in a comfy booth. After reviewing the menu I noticed the bistro menu was far more expensive than the front bar menu, so off we went to the front bar and sat at a table next to a nice open fire. Much better!

Price: $16.00 ($18.00 for the Parmageddon. I went for the traditional parmi. Salad, no bread.)


Schnitzel: As soon as the plate hit the table I was pleased. Decent size and thickness. As for flavour – it was ok. Middle of the road. Not bad, not mindblowing. The breadcrumbs didn’t have any specific flavour. All up though, certainly satisfactory. – 6/10

Sides: The salad was a very decent size, which is getting rarer. It included lots of baby spinach, rocket and cherry tomatoes. Nice dressing too. Definitely one of the highlights. A very noticeable lack of any bread though, which was mildly disappointing. The chips were excellent. Although as usual, there weren’t enough of them and they were also under the schnitzel which still after all these years annoys me to no end. Although if they were on the side, the plate would have needed to be double the size. One small complaint about the chips – not enough seasoning. – 7/10

Topping: Not much to note here. A regular nap sauce and regular cheddar cheese. No ham. The sauce although having a fresh tomato taste it was lacking anything else such as herbs etc. A decent layer of cheese on top, although it was starting to cool and congeal by the time the plate landed at the table. – 5/10

Value for Money: Yep, considering the price difference between the front bar and bistro, the front bar price was definitely good value for money. The bistro price for the parmi was $22, a $6 difference. Bigger was the difference between the prices for the Parmageddon, $18 in the front bar, $28 in the bistro! I should mention though, having not eaten in the bistro I can’t say whether there’s any differences in the parmis served. – 8/10

Venue: As I have said before, this pub is a favourite of mine. Been standing for over 100 years, its a large place. The bistro is classy and family friendly with a combustion heater in the middle of the room and a great selection of craft beers. The front bar has retained its traditional country feel with TAB on offer, an open fire and nice and friendly bar staff who are happy to chat with the regulars and locals. – 8/10

Overall Rating: Very glad with my decision to stop here first and fuel up, it put us in good stead for the afternoon. If you’re in the hills area and after a nice cheap meal, The Aldgate Pump definitely gets my recommendation.

Parmi Guide Rating – 68%

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