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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard review the Orrong Hotel, Armadale

pub of the week
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard review the Orrong Hotel, Armadale

The Orrong Hotel

709 High Street, Armadale.
0416 610 389

When? June 3, 2022.


This is one good looking pub.

The Orrong, in the shadows of Toorak Park, home of the legendary VFA club Prahran (go Blues, Go 2 Blues) with its impressive art-deco style facade and sharp, distinctive calligraphy is reborn after an absence of trading for nearly 2 years.

That in itself is a surprise given its broad appeal and loyal following. But inside the bars, dining rooms, courtyard have been updated without losing the feel of ‘your local’, and with its own pool room set aside, all areas appeal equally to socialise.

The spacious front bar, all timber and warm, begs you to comfortably sit or stand and have one from well presented taps of beer. To the side is a small TAB (No Pokies), and you head through to  deceptively large dining rooms, fireplace going with an exposed kitchen displaying its skills.

Modern, brick courtyard for the warmer months and put together, it makes for a pub destination in Melbourne.

Real value for money meals, happy engaging staff, in a pub that wins that important 15 seconds left side of the brain, that the great Homer J Simpson  would sum up… “Mmm, I want to be here”.

And a kicker for me? The large, prehistoric Blue Fosters Sign hanging proudly over High St.

The 2022 version of the Orrong Hotel is a beauty.


A fine, carefully constructed pub menu with points of difference throughout, that even in these inflationary cost of living times, deliver a genuine bang for buck.  And yes, a decent shave with meal deals – Parma/Pot 20 on Tuesdays – completes the picture.

Entree. Twice cooked wagyu rib tacos, (11), arrive with pico de gallo and green chilli salsa. Spicy school prawns, lemon and black garlic mayo will set you back $13, with  counter meals (Monday-Thursday at $15), also  lists Pork/Fennel snags, mash onion gravy, is $22, Chicken Schnitty ($22), Full whack Beef Burger $22.

Mains offer a range of seafood with Portarlington mussels, (25), Poached prawn salad, mirin dressing, bean curd, soy bean, black funghi (26), Tuna Steak, okra, cauliflower puree, caper, garlic lemon butter (29), Grilled/battered KG Whiting (32). This demonstrates real confidence, as pubs are loath to overdo seafood.  Yes there are Steaks, from a Barley Fed Rump, 300g, at @29 through to a 400g, Bass Strait TBone, $55., all fully plated.

Carlton Draught ($6) doesn’t miss but Melbourne B, Furphy, are popular commercials, with Panhead XPA, Brooklyn Lager, and Lucky Drop Raspberry Seltzer,  (a very grown up version Of Boon Spa Red Cordial!) offers different.

Wine list, fair and different including Amelia Park Cab Sav (WA and very good) is 11pg/55/btle. Curious though is the offer wine at 9pg (5 glasses to the btle) or the entire vessel (750ml) at $50!

Simple arithmetic lads.

The average (bistro) prices are;

  • Entrees – $13
  • Mains – $28
  • Dessert – $12

Tried was;

  • Mustard, aged cheddar, ham hock croquettes, seeded aioli. $12/3. Again another version of this popular pub entree, the combinations not seen before, but the care taken to make each flavour work so well together  made for a fine start.
  • Haloumi, cherry tomato, garlic crouton, basil salad, balsamic. $13. Tricky to get all right, but the cheese had the firmness, a kaleidoscope mix of black russian tomatoes, balsamic for the sweetness, this was a higher level than normally presented.
  • Pork cutlet on bone, parmesan/panko crumbed, wombok slaw, tomato relish. $27. Bargain. Big juicy cutlet, fresh, tangy slaw, homemade relish.  Would recommend highly from their very fine list of mains.


How many times has someone you know started a sentence with ..”You’ll find this interesting” or “You’ll find this funny”.  The natural reaction – either spoken or thought – has to be  ‘I’ll be the judge of that’.

So when one looks up/searches for the Orrong, you are greeted by a rather boastful..” The best pub in Melbourne”. As I have long been told that ‘Self praise is no praise’, you head there with a degree of skepticism hoping that this claim can be backed up.

Be assured that this is a ripper of a pub, and worthy of such bravado that, in 2022, places it in the upper echelon of pubs in and around Melbourne.

Everything works so well, and its selling point is the capturing of the essence of why we like pubs. For sure the food, drink, and hospitality is there in plentiful supply, but that this is a destination that you want to head to and be comfortable/social from the get-go.

Definite contender for DeBortoli Pub of the Year honours.

SCORE:  15.5/20

pub of the week