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Pub Of The Week review: Cricketer’s Bar at the Windsor Hotel

Pub: Cricketer’s Bar at the Windsor Hotel

Where? 111 Spring Street, Melbourne.

Phone: 9633 6170

Score: 14.5/20

When? August 25, 2017.

Internet: www.thehotelwindsor.com.au  **

VENUE

First review.

Part of the iconic Windsor Hotel, the Cricketers Bar has been an understated workhorse of the Melbourne hospitality scene, providing excellent food and drink for years without any fanfare.

Perfectly located at the top of the town,  the CCB, in an area of say 300 sq metres, is a mini shrine to the national game with cricketing artifacts adorning the walls, a gorgeous, rectangular black topped bar its centrepiece, with some high backed tables and chairs for dining and socialising.

That really sums it up.

The charm though is its compactness. Get to the bar with mates or find an area against the wall for comfort, otherwise you find yourself – as the trots would say – in the death.

Big, heavy doors on entering, old fashioned emerald green carpet, Fox for the sports (god forbid any TAB/Pokies here) and make your fun. Plenty do, daily, regularly.

The food and drink is well thought out, superior ‘pub grub’ for sure, and it is nigh on impossible to dislike. For sure it gets crowded, but that’s part of the appeal.

A genuine treasure of Melbourne is the Cricketer’s.

** Website for the Windsor – navigate through to Cricketer’s.

MENU

Terrific pub menu, from the novel entrees of Roast Duck sausage roll (12), or chicken ribs w/peri peri (10), to the main staple of Sirloin, egg, chips, pepper sauce (24).  Loved the fact there are a number of asian inspired dishes, including a special of Tom Yum soup, prawn,  ravioli  and a drink (18).

Genuine points of difference with something to please everyone.

Entrees $12, Mains $27, Desserts $15

TRIED:

Thai style crispy pork in chilli caramel -$27.  Very Good. Served with Jasmine rice and apple Slaw, 8 or so cubes arrive, meaty, fatty, perfect flavour balance. The coriander and crunch of the salad are highlights also,

Warm Bitter Chocolate Fondant – $15. Very Good. Served with coffee,rum & raisin ice-cream, this was a such a treat from the visual of the chocolate oozing, to the rich, delicious ice cream . Lovely finish to the meal.

DRINK

Carlton Draught  and its mates from the CUB portfolio dominant here, with Hargreaves Hill and Bridge Road offering craft.  Carlton Draught is $5.5/pot (4 in happy hour) and is well presented and cared for. Wine list, while not extensive, travels far and wide.  The average here is a little higher – 11pg/50/bottle. Tried was an excellent Chardonnay from Punt Road.

SERVICE AND STYLE

Nothing less than expected that trades under the Windsor name. Polite, courteous, friendly.  All staff immaculately attired. Irregardless of the area that you find yourself here, the unambiguous commitment to training and service from the Windsor is evident.

SUMMARY

The Cricketers is an icon of Melbourne pub life, in one of the true landmark buildings of this State.

Inside this lilliputian world, all the trimmings, vibe and feel of a pub exude in spades including the Midday start each day of the week.

The food and drink is on point, with its own points of difference. For sure the delight of sitting down (low) at a table to long lunch dine is sooo preferable but that would detract from the feel here. It’s shoulder to shoulder at the bar, find a space to have a meal (basically standing up) and enjoy the passing parade.

The Cricketer’s never seems to make any noise about being a must get to destination. Until now, this is my first review in 22 years. Reasons escape me why this is the case.

If you want a measure, then popularity and longevity are its calling cards. May it trade, like this, forever.

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