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

MML

PUB: Vale Hotel.

WHERE? 2277 Dandenong Road, Mulgrave.

PHONE: 9546 9666

SCORE: 12/20

WHEN? October 20, 2016.

WEB: www.valehotel.com.au

VENUE

First review. The Vale Hotel is a fairly typical big south east suburban pub that forms part of the gargantuan ALH group, the biggest owner of pubs in Australia and one of the biggest in the world.

Slightly elevated and set back from Dandenong Rd., (pre Necropolis if coming from town) and completed by a Dan Murphy’s, the Vale has a ‘built in the 60s look comprising a number of areas that house Pokies, TAB, bistro, and indoor lounge/outdoor areas that are nice diversions for something quieter.

To reiterate what is available here – UFC, Trivia, Meal Deals is standard across the group: Pretty much what is happening in Mulgrave is happening Carrum, and happening in St. Albans. The look, the feel, the service are homogonised, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  You know the drill.

The menus are extensive, but there is nothing here that won’t scare the natives (although nowadays perhaps the natives want a challenge).

The beer in the sportsbar was good (good glassware, clean taste) and if popping in for a lunch or dinner meal in the sportsbar, a tenner will get you a nice feed. And to be fair, the pub has a range of specials – good value for seniors, throughout the week.

One thing that can be remedied is the refusal to provide table service in bistro.

When you have to line up to pay, but wait in a queue, then it is doubly frustrating. And here, with the number of staff behind the jump, sending one out on an advance posse, may result in an upsell.

How about it Bruce?

MENU

Breads, Dips, Chips are the main go in the smaller section, with the addition of arancini, ($15), with feta, pesto, SDT’s, and some seafood (chilli/garlic prawns).

Burgers/Steak sangas, full tilt, are $20, and most meals, generously served are mid-20s, with a chicken oscar (avocado, prawns, hollandaise) coming in at $26.  One of the top prices was $35, for suckling pig ribs, wedges, sour cream.  An interesting special was the double barrel burger and bourbon special.  2 patties, double bacon, double cheese, brioche, chips AND a 30ml Jimmy B, Double Barrel Oak for $18. Go for it lads!

Entrees $12, mains $25, Dessert $8.

TRIED

Chilli Prawns, Rice, Salad – $16. Good. 8 or so smallish prawns has a nice chilli hum, liked the mix of cooked almond slivers through the prawns, rice and salad as expected.

Lamb Rump, Moroccan spiced, Mint gravy, Broccoli, Smashed Potatoes. $27. Good.  Two well seasoned slabs of Lamb (closer to Med than MR but no issue) made for a neat and filling lunch; enjoyable.

Roast of the Day – Pork – with Roasted Veg. $19. No. This was a miss.  Meat was dry (note gravy does not magically hydrate), no crackling, no applesauce, the spuds were not properly roasted.

DRINK

Carlton Territory here reflected in the tap beer – which was good  – and $4.9/pot.

The wine list has enough $30 bottles but most have been seen at the BWS drive through. Peter Lehmann Clancy (SCSM blend) was 8pg//36/bottle. Safe option.

SERVICE AND STYLE

It’s a big operation covering all bases in a pub like this. Friendly for sure. Meals were well spaced without the wait. Good.

SUMMARY

The Vale is a big pub, in the ‘burbs, so you know what to expect.

There is no re-invention of the wheel, here or elsewhere in this massive conglomerate that dominates the Australian landscape.

Did it meet my expectations? Yes it did.

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