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Pub Of The Week: Old England Hotel, Heidelberg

3AW Afternoons
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Old England Hotel, Heidelberg

459 Lower Heidelberg Road, Heidelberg

9459 1166

Old England Hotel

When?: April 12 2024


Trading on the same site for close to 180 years, the Old England (OE), has become a much loved fixture in the north-east suburbs and with its elevated position, enjoys wonderful views of the Diamond Valley and on to the Dandenongs.

Striking and imposing, the double storey homestead with a beautiful first floor balcony consists of many parts all with an abundance of rooms, catering from a football presentation night to a wedding, you can choose from The Dining Room, E Bar, Rooftop/Garden and Bluestone, all with different feel to suit any occasion. A drive through bottle shop completes the picture.

The pub has been in the hands of the Payne family, whose patriarch Tom oversaw much of how the pub is so adaptable. (The family also operates Barkly, aka Sir Henry Barkly Hotel in nearby Burgundy St.)

There is a fabulous meal deal on Tuesdays, paella, at $26 or Thursday night steak, $25, with activities such as poker nights and trivia throughout the week.

A recent Tuesday confirms its popularity: the massive car park was full, and to get parking it was a ‘wait ’til someone leaves’ to secure a spot. Same deal with a table in the split level dining, whose look is sharper than most massive suburban bistro.

Pokies: Yes
TAB: Yes

With this background more power to the armada of staff charged with delivering the hospitality in a timely fashion and despite lining up to place an order, the wait was reasonable in any circumstances.

The menu, like the pub consists of many parts i.e., assorted breads, tapas, fish and seafood, pub favs.

The natural oysters 6 for $22 is good shopping, along with Thai fish and prawn cakes  at $16. Mains are generous, e.g, pork sausages, mash, onion gravy, steamed greens, ($30), grilled flake, C@S. mayo $34,
with fully plated steaks ranging between $49-55.

Limiting to the Tapas menu, tried was;

  • Ham & cheese croquettes (3) served with romesco sauce $14. Nice start to the meal, everything came together well, good sharing,
  • Duck & mushroom spring rolls (2). Served with lettuce, hot mint & tangy dipping sauce $15. Thin long ‘cigars’ wrapped in filo pastry didn’t miss, liked the dipper,
  • Korean gochujang wings (6). Sweet, sour & spicy chicken wings, toasted sesame & coriander $16. Probably the best of the starters, genuine mix of sweet and sour shining through. Good meat on the wings,
  • Chicken Satay Sticks (4) spicy peanut satay sauce $16. To be fair, just so so. The satays came breadcrumbed which didn’t allow any additional flavour from the cooking; the spicy sauce not really adding much.

Carlton D was well served and reasonably priced at $6.7/pot, while the wine list offered real choice, Red Claw Chardonnay $15/pg, Coldstream Hills PinotN $16 were chosen and enjoyed.

The OE is bombproof, irrespective of whatever trends hit pubs and will proudly serve the Heidelberg locals for years to come.

SCORE: 13.9

3AW Afternoons