$21 Aussie pub snack branded 'bulls***' – but not everyone agrees

Local foodies have shot down a Sydney man's complaint about a DIY dish.

A pub diner has sparked an intense debate after complaining about a serving of food at Sydney's Lord Nelson Brewery. Located in The Rocks district, the venue claims to be Australia's oldest hotel, renowned for their "innovative and eclectic Australian cuisine".

However one customer was left disappointed by the Nelson's menu this week, after receiving something a little out of the ordinary – an unopened tin of anchovies, cardboard box and all.

"So low effort," the man posted to Reddit next to a photo of the $21 snack, which also includes sourdough bread. "I'm not sure they aren't deliberately taking the piss."

Tin of Ortiz anchovies and some sourdough bread served at a Sydney pub
A Sydney pub diner was disappointed to receive anchovies still in their tin. Source: Reddit/SFW_50plusTeacher

'Hipster bulls**t'

Some users were equally appalled by the presentation of the dish. "Next they'll be serving baked beans in a can with a slice of bread," wrote one unimpressed Reddit user. "Why even go out for that?" questioned another. "Are the fishing nets and boots under the table or is it BYO?" joked someone else.

A particularly fired up Sydneysider was shocked that staff "couldn't be bothered shaking the contents of a tin into a ramekin or something," and took aim at the concept of "deconstructed" food in general. "Everyone outside of the champagne socialist paradise of Surry Hills is over this deconstructed rustic hipster bulls**t," he stated.

'Boutique food product'

However, many leapt to the defence of the pub, arguing that the tin is included to prove the authenticity of the imported Ortiz anchovies, which currently retail for $16 at Coles and $19.95 at David Jones. "They're a widely recognised boutique food product, and they're served in the tin to highlight and reaffirm that provenance," someone commented.

The Lord Nelson Hotel
The Lord Nelson is Sydney's oldest continually licensed hotel. Source: Getty

Responding to that claim, another user hit back: "True, but if they taste so much better than other anchovies, I should be able to tell from the first bite. A little presentation wouldn't go amiss."

'You won't understand'

Again, that complaint didn't go down well with local foodies, who said it's ignorant of diners to expect the anchovies to be served any differently, as they're served the same way in Spain, home of the Ortiz brand. "It's actually quite common to be served anchovies and sardines like this in Europe," one person wrote.

Someone claiming to work at the venue also chimed in, stating that the dish isn't profitable for the owner, but is included on the menu to give patrons an opportunity to taste the delicacy. "He wants everyone to try it out since it's REALLY good anchovy," the staff member commented, adding that while the presentation could perhaps be improved, the presence of the tin allows customers to remember what it looks like so they can pick one up for themselves at a grocery store.

Perhaps one defender of the dish in question put it best, stating, "So delicious. If you don't know Ortiz anchovies, you won't understand."

The Lord Nelson has been approached for comment.

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