Pub Of The Week review: Peacock Inn Hotel
PUB: Peacock Inn Hotel.
WHERE? 210 High Street, Northcote.
PHONE: 9481 3100
WHEN? October 13, 2016.
Second review. (last 2007). This is a pub that has stood the test of time, being part of the Northern suburban furniture for 150 plus years.
In the shadows of the Town Hall in High St., the imposing bricked Peacock has cannily embraced all ages – and palates – and this is a very solid offer. Entering from High St., you happen upon a small, quiet lounge, which opens out onto a larger room, replete with tables, dining and pool, and a range of Pinball machines (that’s different and includes the table top version of Galactica) and further through to the very neat Courtyard. (you are into Bastings St now).
But, discreetly tucked away is a light, airy, oasial dining room which looks out on High St and bangs out good pub food and drink. No TAB/No Pokies.
I have been many times in youth, but doubt if it has been going better than this. Ever.
Occasionally you get a real, gobsmacking bargain, and here the $10 lunch, 5 days, is that. Proper meals, eg Kingfish and mussel risotto, with a tomato/lobster bisque or Pulled Pork Burger, lettuce, tomato, chips are part of a 6 choice listing. There is a ripper tasting board for a tenner which has some BBQ Korean Chicken Wings, Veg Spring rolls, Salmon sashimi and soft boiled egg, garlic bread and a prosciutto and brie bruschetta. Yep. Great tastes abound.
Menu has some nice tricks in the longer form. Confit Duck leg, pancetta, braised cabbage, red chilli jam ($26) or a Lamb Rack, Cous Cous, Feta, mixed veg for $31. A range of classic pub dishes start in the early $20s. The dining room is cosy (tables a little small for mine) but with staff coming to you, it’s not an issue. This is a better level of pub grub.
Entrees $12, mains $25, desserts $9.
Oriental Duck Sausages w/plum sauce. 5 pieces $10. Good. House made, rustic big flavours. Good pub dim sum.
Burger with the Lot (no egg), chips – $22. Good. 200g beef, good quality, excellent consistency, topped with Jack Cheese, Bacon, Tomato, and a Ketchup/Mustard, this was a most satisfying burger. Right price, good eating.
A very good mix of commercial – Carlton – and some craft heroes means all bases covered. The quality was excellent. Good glasses/bottles of wines fall neatly in the $8-9/per glass and mid 30s for a bottle. (The bottle pricing is fair). Betty and Max Riesling from the Clare valley was liked very much. 9/pg//36/bottle. Good too is the offer of a 3rd size glass – 250ml – by the pub.
SERVICE AND STYLE
No knock here. The staff is young and happy to engage. Gets a little noisier as you go through to pub, but a clean, tight, ship is run by the owners.
The Peacock ticks over nicely in a suburb that has seen as much change as any over the past 2 decades. The pub’s roots remain firmly in the foundations of the 60s but has moved sufficiently in food and bev to make an alternative to the cafe culture so prevalent in Northcote/Thornbury (seems strange doesn’t it?!).
This is a good version at the moment and I like the fact there is a little community ‘come-on’ every night with a spoil on food, drink, entertainment. After all of these years, the Courtyard, now with a covered pavillion and Cider Bar, adds that lovely layer of comfort.
Plus, not too many (I exclude kids play areas in Pokie Pubs), have 8 pin ball machines to choose from, with a game of pool if that’s your go. Not sure if there’s a pinball Hall of Fame, but surely with all of its bells and whistles, the KISS pinnie is one of the greatest ever made.