Pub Of The Week: The Royal Hotel, Koo Wee Rup
Where? 96-100 Station Street, Koo Wee Rup.
When? November 19, 2021.
In the outer South East of Melbourne, some 75 kms from Melbourne stands the very fine Royal Hotel at Koo Wee Rup, now semi-rural but proximity to Pakenham will surely carry the tag of outer suburb sooner than later.
What a ripper pub this is. Traditionally run, a foundation of a welcoming front bar and very nice bistro, the hospitality package is supported by good beer, good food and great staff, the Royal is the perfect pub for a town like this.
Impressive brickwork, fastidiously neat throughout, the pub is essentially split into 2 ; public bar with small TAB (no pokies), discreet pool table and an array of tradies if you need something done at home.
The bistro is large, recently renovated with space for at least 100, and has its own discreet entrance for those coming from the car park. Slight lower cushioned leatherette chairs are comfortable with table service a given. Drive through available for take away.
And the staff duchess you to ensure a great time is had. (This is testament to a publican who worked hard to retain his best asset – staff – during lockdown and is evident to all: a very good crew).
Thursday lunchtime all ages and professions were enjoying the hospitality with bleak weather outside.
Easy to see why no one was in a hurry to leave.
I’ll cut to the chase. Carlton Draught, $6/pot. Beautiful. Wine prices – so fair – using the Treasury wines portfolio. Leo Buring Riesling. $8pg//$35/bottle confirms this. This is as reasonable as any pub around.
Food in the bar is slightly less expensive but they dont short you. FOMO kicks in when you see the serve of Bangers/Mash/ Veg arrive at the table next door (21).
Here’s an example of the confidence the pub places in its kitchen. Not many pubs provide three different fish dishes, but here, Fresh Flathead/ Rockling Fillets/Maple Glazed salmon w/ Green Pea Risotto are all available.
An enquiry was made as to what the publican thought was the go to from the kitchen. Expecting the obvious, surprised when he said the Nasi Goreng – chef’s recipe, with chicken, prawns, peas, selected Asian vegetables, rice and finished with fried egg & bean shoots. There’s a tip.
The average (bistro) prices are;
- Entrees – $11
- Mains – $30
- Dessert – $10
- Haloumi sticks, paprika flour, peri peri mayo. 7 for $14. A Good starter and this style is popping up more on menus. Maybe another 30 seconds elevates them more, but the generosity was an indicator to come.
- Flathead fillets, beer battered, chips and salad. $26. This is as good a representation of this pub favourite as I’ve seen in ages. . No shortcuts with 3 long and meaty fillets, fresh salad, hot chips, creamy tartare. Beer batter from Moon Dog Old Mate worked. So much flathead is on pub menus and most is something already supplied cooked, frozen, reheated. Done from scratch, like the Royal becomes an excellent main.
- Buttermilk chicken tenders, sweet chilli lime mayo. (Normally 15, but chips/salad added only $4 on seniors). Three big, chunky nuggets, good chips and fresh salad, lovely spicy coating. Everything worked.
One of the main reasons to head out to the Royal was its use of its social platforms. The facebook page was up to date and showcased that this was a pub to enjoy. Its web pages were informative, aroused interest and as it turns out, up to date.
The topic of conversation with the owner and locals was whether anything could be used on top of a parma. The owner made a very persuasive case for the Wednesday parma night that, indeed, it can. For example there is;
- Kermit the Chook, basil pesto cream, ham, sun dried tomatoes, cheese
- The Thai Twist, ham, cheese, satay sauce, crushed nuts,
- The Esplendido , ham, chorizo, napoli, charred peppers, paprika, cheese.
The only downer, nothing to do with the pub, is the main road from Pakenham to Koo Wee Rup. It is a pot holed riddled disgrace.
Political over: well done to the Royal Hotel for a fine afternoon.