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Pub Of The Week review: Tony Leonard visits the Elsternwick Hotel

TONY LEONARD

PUB: Elsternwick Hotel.

WHERE? 259 Brighton Road, Elwood.

PHONE: 9531 3218

SCORE: 10.5/20

WHEN? February 24, 2017.

WEB: www.elsternwickhotel.com.au

VENUE

Second review as DeBortoli Pub of the Week.

The Elsternwick Hotel is a grand, glorious old world multi storey hotel in Elwood on one of the busier corners of Melbourne, intersected by Glen Huntly rd, with the Bowls club and VAFA headquarters a stone’s throw away.

The area is fabulous and this pub fits in brilliantly.

Carpark and drive through to the rear, the pub’s front bar is big, dark and happy, (the AFLW game between Adelaide and carlton had a stack of followers).

Big couches, big rectangular bar, good staff, TAB, the area allows you to spread out in anonymity any time of the day. Bar menu is extensive with a shave off bistro prices.

Beer runs a commercial offering, and the Carlton D was very good. $4/glass is excellent shopping.

From there, through a door to a separate pokies area, to the very neat dining room which retains wooden venetians which adds a comforting layer. It is stock standard biggish dining room but the appearance creates an expectation of good things to come.

And sadly, this is where the pub fell down on my visit, with a food offering that didn’t cut it in my opinion.

MENU

The menu is typical of a suburban pub and reads well.

Entrees of  S&P Calamari, Prawns Chilli or Garlic, Buffalo wings support chips/breads.

Beef/ chicken burgers come in 5 or 6 styles, good range of pasta and as always the Grazier steak line is present with a 250g Rump opening the attack at $25.

Fully plated, it is a reasonable price.

This menu is replicated many times in the burbs. Maybe an off day in the kitchen, but the order of Lamb shanks and Whiting missed the mark (read below).

Entrees – $13, Mains $25, Desserts $8.

TRIED

Lamb shanks (2), with root vegetables, mash, RWJ – $28. Everything bar the shanks was fine.

However shanks excel when the meat falls from the bone, not attached to it, making it chewy and unappetising.

A makita chainsaw to get it off the bone would have worked as the veg, gravy and mash was good; Disappointing.

BB whiting, chips and salad (special) $23.

Fish was OK in taste, slightly dull in colour and not sure what species of whiting it was, one fillet only, good chips and salad.

DRINK

Commercial beers by and large but did note Melbourne Bitter on tap. Wine was stacked with popular labels, e.g., Pepperjack, Oyster Bay  and the pricing pretty fair.  Franklin Tate chard from WA was a reasonable $7/glass.

SERVICE AND STYLE

Good attentive staff in both bar and bistro.

Order at counter, see the open kitchen at work, and then it is brought out. Bistro staff happy to have a chat.

SUMMARY

This is a pub that I can compare and contrast with an ALH stablemate – The Pascoe Vale Hotel.

Whereas its northern cousin delivered on food that had some nice ‘unpokie’ twists, at the Elsternwick it was pretty much what gets offered everywhere in the ‘Burbs.

Delivered well, there is no problem with this, but when it misses it misses by plenty.

And that was my experience on this day.

TONY LEONARD
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