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Pub Of The Week review: Tony Leonard reviews the Leinster Arms Hotel

TONY LEONARD

PUB: Leinster Arms Hotel.

WHERE?  66 Gold Street, Collingwood.

PHONE: 9417 5720

SCORE: 15/20

WHEN? March 30, 2017.

WEB: www.leinsterarms.com.au

VENUE

Third review. (last circa 2008). Single (and rare) storey pub, brick and beautifully maintained, the Leinster Arms has been under the stewardship of Glen and Wilhelmina for nearly two decades and has consistently delivered a level of hospitality that has seen it awarded many accolades within the City of Yarra.

Located in quiet and gorgeous Gold St., the pub has a small front bar with pool table, quiet side lounge looking across the public bar, function room, kitchen, through to the bricked bistro/garden atrium complete with fully grown ferns (well before pubs ceated green spaces).

This is beautifully set out.

The food, once predominantly Italian influenced, still offers your standard pub grub pitched at a better level but now, some very neat Eastern European meats and goulashes appear.

All very fairly priced, all generously portioned, all family friendly. No TAB/No pokies.

Indeed the website does the pub justice in selling itself. Have a look.

Beer is excellent (small glasses offered), wine sticks to a well worn path, and nothing is outrageously priced.

Quick example of what this pub means to the locals?  Couple tracking square for 30 years decide to finally tie the knot. White dresses, bridesmaids, whole she-bang. Location? Leinster Arms, Langley Room and the reception in the Atrium.

That is one stop shopping.

MENU

All bases and then some covered.

If you like going to a pub for a meal and can’t find it here, then I don’t know where you will. All fully plated and no meal above $30.

Oysters (natural) are $11.5e/21m. Pasta Carbonara $14.5, burger with the lot $14.5, parma is $19.

Top of the wazza is a 300g Porterhouse, with chips/salad or veg at $28.50.

A pub staple retained from the old days is the Crab and Mussel Hotpot, $25.50.

Always popular, generous and comes with a bib. You need it.

But if housemade Kranskys w/sauerkraut, mash, vegie relish ($18.5) or Sarma cabbage rolls filled beef, pork, rice at $18.5 entices, then go your hardest. It’s all good.

TRIED

Bohemian Platter. Thin spicy sausages, smoked pork ribs, cevapcici, bacon, sauerkraut, chips and onion gravy. $24.50. Very Good.

This is a filling platter that feeds 2-3 very comfortably. Great, smoky tastes throughout.

Mixed Seafood Platter. Catch of the day (2 fillets of barramundi), golden fried calamari, chilli mussels, garlic prawns (4), natural oysters,  assortment of leaves with tartare sauce and chips. Good. $26. Another nice share platter that easily feeds 2-3.

DRINK

Well presented clean flavoured Carlton Draught in a 200ml glass. Heaven. Range of Carlton products on tap along with some craft from the beautiful Coldstream brewery (Czech pilsener/cider//grand porter).

Wine list doesn’t stray too far but is very keenly priced with most bottles in the ever diminishing $32-35 price range in pubs.

SERVICE AND STYLE

Family run so you know the drill. Happy to see you, nothing too much trouble. Chef Bob is part of the pub family, as was chef Frank who provided excellent Italian inspired pub food for at, least 12 years.

You want to be there.

SUMMARY

The most wonderful adjective to describe a pub is ‘beloved’.

Clearly it is the duty of the owners to create an environment of welcome and community. Longevity/Familiarity in this brutal caper is another layer that draws you in for your discretionary spend.

In essence, you barrack for the success of the pub: you want to go there.

Here this relatively unique one storey pub, in the most attractive and anonymous location of Gold Street, Collingwood, the operators have provided an atmosphere that truly makes it ‘beloved’.

Good honest pub grub, fairly priced, great beer, attention to detail are all the calling cards of the Leinster Arms. It is not easily achieved: find someone who has shot the lot off in pursuit of the publicans’ dream and you will hear how tough it is.

The lease expires in one year’s time and what happens next is anyone’s guess. Glen and Wilhelmina are reluctant to continue. If that’s the case, in the ever disappearing back street neighbourhood local, then my fervent recommendation is go while they run it.

Be Here, Now.

TONY LEONARD
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