Five Stags: The new gastropub in Whitford that's worth the roadtrip

Words by Lauren Matthews from The Kitchen Collective New local gastropub, Five Stags has been delighting the residents of Whitford for some weeks now thanks to its souped-up pub food menu and generous pours; but I can hear hoards of you reading this thinking 'ahhh, where is Whitford?' To which I would reply, 'I'm not sure, but Google Maps knows, and a visit to Five Stags is worth the drive'. Owner John and his team are incredibly welcoming - just as you'd expect from a locally owned outpost. The interior pays homage to those with a penchant for hunting, but not in a horrible-American-denist type of way - just your standard and acceptable hunting - hence the name Five Stags. The wall above the bar is home to some incredible taxidermy and the whole vibe is that of a hunter's cabin. In fact, there is even a completely restored hunter's cabin within the bar that can be used as a private dining room, complete with original artefacts and nicknacks. As mentioned, the menu compromises of classic pub fare with a good amount of modernity. And while there's plenty of game-centric dishes, there's also plenty of seafood and the odd vegetarian dish to please those animal-loving friends.  Duck breast is served with orange hued kumera rosti and a current glaze, while the eye fillet, cooked perfectly, sits atop a mountain of house made crinkle chips, steamed veg - choose your accompaniment, so I did. Garlic butter and seared prawns for the win. The 'Barry Crump' deserves a mention. Tender beef short ribs glazed in a spiced L & P concoction served alongside duck fat potatoes; doesn't get much more Kiwi than that. There's also burgers, fish 'n chips and roasts. So, I would very much suggest you gather a crew, and your compass, and venture your way out to the pleasant town of Whitford this weekend. Word to the wise: make sure you have an empty stomach, and perhaps a sober driver, as I think a long lunch is in order when visiting this new venue. See you there! [gallery ids="6417,6418,6419,6420,6421,6422"]