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Pub Of The Week review: Tony Leonard visits the Market Hotel, South Melbourne

MML

PUB: Market Hotel.

WHERE? 160 Clarendon Street, Sth Melbourne.

PHONE: 9682 6288

SCORE: 13.5/20

WHEN? November 4, 2016.

WEB: www.themarkethotel.com.au

VENUE

First review. Renamed the Market Hotel (formerly/recently traded as The Star, which will bring back some memories), the pub has had a fantastic transformation inside and out and has turned into a double story ‘Greenhouse’ with palms and ferns in abundance inside.

Not quite as diverse in look as the Bridge in Richmond, (think mini metropolis inside a pub) The Market is spacious, cool and airy and on the second floor beer garden.has adopted a ‘Beach House’ look, with the candy coloured setting having great views back at the city.

Everything is neat and tidy; the pub looks great.

The food and drink offering is fairly typical of a pub treading a safe line, and screams nighttime, easy eating, music and drinks, more than daytime, sit down and do serious business over a long lunch.

It’s all good here.

MENU

Share style, larger style and pub classics are the 3 sections for the menu.

The share plates read well e.g., Crumbed Beef nuggets with celeriac puree  and tomato chutney ($18) or Prawn Cutlets (6), with a toasted garlic, spring onion, chili, fennel, tomato and pinenut salad (21). Bruschetta and Dips as well are offered.

In the larger, I liked the look of the Paella, a  mixture of seafood, chorizo, chicken topped with gremolata (26) while classics banged out a Mexican Parma, jalapeno, guacamole (20) or Beer Battered Barra, kipflers and coleslaw (21).

The house cheese burger and chips was $18.

Entrees – $14, Mains $24, Desserts $13.

TRIED

Mixed steamed Dumpling Plate, chili oil and kewpie mayo. $14/7pieces. Good. Mix of prawn, scallop, fish, sharp chilli oil at base, these dumplings were fresh and tasty.

Good start ($1/ea on Wednesdays)

Mixed Sausage Plate (3) with dijon mustard, housemade relish, sauerkraut – $24. Strange. Nothing wrong with the snags – chorizo, pork/fennel, kransky, arrived sliced for you, without anything else.

To be fair, the menu says just that, it’s just a strange way to present it. If you wanted to plate it up with chips (6.5) and no offer is made for a side of salad/veg.

DRINK

Mainly drawing from the CUB portfolio, the Market has access to the non-pasteurised, Carlton D from the  tanks (4.9/pot).

It was good and the pub looks after its glassware.

Tick for having Fosters lager in cans (6). One other pub – Marquis of Lorne stocks them (there are some pockets of resistance!). Small wine list, selected from smaller producers (tick). Stefani Riesling was a good recommendation – 9.5/glass.  Like most pubs now the benchmark is 10pg//45-48/bottle.

SERVICE AND STYLE

No issue. The pub may have been a little caught out with only one behind the jump on a busy-ish Sunday afternoon, but she was certainly friendly and did her best.

The sequencing of meals was interesting; post entree, I was asked if I would like the mains to be started. Yes. They appeared a minute or so later. Hmm.

SUMMARY

The name change is the curious one here but with a new look why not a new name name?  The Market is user friendly, and has the advantage of having enough off street parking in South Melbourne.

Good on the pub for providing acoustic and rock 3 days a week in keeping with its illustrious past. If you fancy 1kg of Chicken wings and a jug of beer ($25), then Thursdays nights is your go to.

New look but steady as she goes, the Market will trade successfully for some time to come.

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