Pub Of The Week review: London Tavern
Pub: London Tavern
Where? 238 Lennox Street, Richmond.
Phone: 9428 6894
When? September 8, 2017
Third review. (last circa 2007).
Beautiful low rise brick hotel in Lennox St., the London Tavern has been a much loved fixture on the Melbourne pub scene, seemingly forever.
Let’s cut to the chase – the pub does hospitality with a sure and welcoming hand. On entering, it is a mini shrine to the Richmond Footy Club. No bells, no whistles, just a mix good food, drink and times, highlighted by its glorious front bar to the beer garden (with retractable) that constantly features amongst the best when polls are taken.
The pub is deceptively cavernous, so now as the Tigers are on this run, you will find some space if you put the tent pegs down early enough (and advised to so do). Exposed bricks, lovingly kept timber, this pub is a ripper.
Since the last visit, the changes to its appearance are minimal but your comfort is not compromised. There are some ripping meal deals during the week, some trivia, but other than the sport on the big screens, it’s about you driving your entertainment.
And it’s so easily done here.
Allow me to use the term smart pub grub again. The menu is extensive, but with some nice twists and turns elevate it above the run of the mill. The menu has a good range of starters, including the curious Shanghai noodles, with chinese style chicken bolognaise (yes, $16), some gyoza and croquettes, or an onion and pear tart (17). Curries, fish steak options a plenty, as is a wider selection of desserts. All done in house.
Entrees $14, Mains $25, Desserts $10
Mac n cheese croquettes, with romesco sauce – $12. Good. Tasty start, fresh. good size, 5-6 per serve, the pairing with romesco makes for a nice counterpoint. Not too heavy, beer food for sure,
Nepalese Pork Curry, coriander, rice. $10 Tuesday special. Very Good. Glorious chunks of slowly cooked pork, spiced with real kick (but not too much), was fantastic shopping on a cold day. A beauty.
400g Rump, mash, beans, garlic butter. $30. Very good. Excellent charring of the steak, big piece, easily cut, no fat, great mash and beans smothered in a pad of GB. Share this one between 2 and is even better value.
Carlton Draught Brewery fresh in the golden tanks is the dominant pour of mainly CUB’s portfolio. It is lovingly treated. $5.2/pot. Wine list also is mostly part of Treasury’s portfolio – Squealing Pig, Seppelts, T’gallant and is priced at the mark (45/bottle//9pg). Served in 3 sizes. Tried was the ever reliable Wirra Wirra Church Block.
SERVICE AND STYLE
Old school, including 200ml glasses, friendly staff, Foxsports bringing you a range (no TAB/no Pokies). Importantly no overbearing, listless, staff inspired and poorly chosen, soundtrack to distract conversation. It’s a pub, a glorious pub.
The London Tavern falls into that on-going category of ‘pubs just getting it right’. When all the elements of what a pub should be are rolled into a venue and delivered at such a good consistent level, then, theoretically, the rest takes care of itself.
This is a popular pub. From going there in the 80’s (John Northey mine host?), to now, the pub delivers from the moment you step inside, have a beer, wander to the beer garden, and let it all pass over you.
And above all, the location. When you finish, through one or two backstreets, to Punt, then over the road, and then to the G past Tigerland. You sense you are somewhere special and you are. And at night, the beer garden is illuminated from the lights of the G.
Good pub, really good pub.