Outrage as Aussie pub charges $27 for chicken schnitty without gravy

But back in my day, a chicken schnitty used to be under $20...

It's an Australian right to go out for a weekday pub meal, catch up with your mates, debrief on life, and make your way home at a respectable hour for work the next day, full and content with a nice ending to another working day in this hamster wheel we call life. Life may be all death and taxes, but sometimes, over a chicken schnitty, we can remember the good times too.

That is until you realise your pub meal and one glass of pinot costs you around $43 in 2024.

Because I'm 33 going on 84, I remember back in my day (2010) I'd go out on a Wednesday night for the much-celebrated $7.50 chicken schnitty. You'd get a huge slab of crumbed, deep-fried chicken, lots of chippies, and a side salad that even had tomatoes and cucumber in it. We were living large back then and we didn't even realise it.


Now, the tide has turned. The other night I went out for a meal with two of my mates to do what girls do best: enjoy a pub feast and update each other on our pathetic dating lives, some with success, others with pitiful results (I was the pitiful result person for what it's worth, but I digress). What was more outrageous than my flailing love life, was the price I paid for the quintessential Aussie feast of a chicken schnitty. The schnitty itself, $27. "That comes with gravy, right?" I asked the bartender, berating myself internally for asking such a stupid question. Of course it would.

"No, but you can add gravy," the bartender said to which was I was like "Uh yeah, obviously" assuming it'd maybe be a dollar. But I wasn't going to be some dry-ass b**ch who was going to eat a plain schnitty. As we will learn, it's dangerous to make assumptions: the total of my meal then reached $31. My gravy cost somewhere between $3-4 extra (with a card surcharge on top, no doubt). Want a wine? Yes, please, obviously, what else do I have to live for? Next minute, you're closer to the $50 mark than you'd like to admit, for a meal and bevvie that probably would've cost you closer to $30 just a couple of years ago.


a chicken schnitzel without gravy
Is something missing here? Look closer.... Photo: Instagram.com/thepubwhodoesntaddgravy

Back when I was 20 in 2010 and barely getting through half of my $7.50 chicken schnitty because eating is cheating and I was too busy drinking out of the goon bag I had snuck into the pub, I never thought as a (mostly) self-respecting adult I'd pay so much for a meal I could make at home. Want veggies instead of salad with your schnitty these days? Probably going to be another $5, if they microwave some frozen McCain's veggies for you at all. So you suck it up, and eat your three forkfuls of mixed bag salad, while staring at your tiny pot of instant gravy that was whacked on the side for what used to be the price of a normal coffee.

MFW gravy isn't free anymore. Photo: Twitter.com
MFW gravy isn't free anymore. Photo: Twitter.com

The gravy itself was enough to cover half of the schnitty and some chips with its residue. Claggy, fresh out of the microwave, in a tiny silver pouring cup, with little taste. Just like my grandma used to make.


Now, I don't want to name and shame the Sydney pub because obviously it's trying times for all of us. But I would not be doing my due diligence if I didn't reach out for a statement about the cost of the meal. Unfortunately, I have not heard back, but upon further sleuthing discovered the menu does not stipulate the extra cost of gravy, only the salad upgrade. Sneaky!

Choice of sauce... free?? Nope. Photo: Supplied
Choice of sauce... free?? Nope. Photo: Supplied

Alas, lesson learned. If you wanna beat the cost of living these days, BYOG (bring your own gravy, obviously). Or, you know, just whack some chicken tenders in an air-fryer, take a swig from your goon bag, and call it a day.

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