The Gemis my local pub. It is situated about 2 blocks from my house, on the corner of Wellington and Hotham st in Collingwood.
When we first moved into the area about 3 years ago, the Gem quickly became a favourite for its great atmosphere and cracking pub food. At that time, the food at the Gem was the best of the pubs in the area and far better than the nearby (but slightly further away) Fox Hotel. Unfortunately, somewhere in the last couple of years, the food at the Gem went south. Thankfully, the food at the Fox improved dramatically, so we tended to head to the Fox for a meal and also for its amazing rooftop beer garden.
We recently ventured back to the Gem for a meal after a long hiatus and I am so very happy to say – it’s back baby! We had a very good pub dinner there recently and I’m looking forward to heading back there for a meal again soon.
The Gem is casual and quirkily fitted out. Live music is played in the front bar downstairs most nights of the week and it gets pretty jammed on a Friday and Saturday. Thankfully for the anally retentive amongst us (ie. me), you can book a table in the dining room out the back, or also in the recently refurbished upstairs space.
The Gem does standard pub fare (think burgers and parmas) but also offers a good range of vegetarian options, with a Haloumi burger ($15), country vegetable pastie ($16), minestrone soup, and a mushroom ragout on offer. They also have some more interesting items on offer, and the Brazillian fish stew is a tried and tested favourite.
We caught up with some mates on a Friday night for a boozy dinner and were seated upstairs – behold our food:
Beef and Guinness pie: ($18)
Pappardelle with duck and mushroom ragout
Parma with prosciutto ($20):
Moroccan vegetable tagine with cous cous and yoghurt ($16):
Vegetable torte with cauliflower, roasted cherry tomato and a parmesan crisp ($15):
On to desserts, the Gem has a mean sticky date pudding, but unfortunately it had sold out the night we were there. Mr M instead decided to try the special – a baked chocolate pudding:
It was actually more souffle like (though it fell a little in the time I took to grab my camera). Apparently it was listed on the menu as a pudding rather than a souffle so that if it didn’t rise a lot it would still be fine – way to lower expectations! Rich, light, warm and chocolatey, this was a great end to the meal.
The Gem is great and is located just around the corner – I’ll definitely be back!
289 Wellington St
(03) 9419 5170