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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews Cosmopolitan Hotel, Trentham

Tom Elliott
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews Cosmopolitan Hotel, Trentham

21 High Street, Trentham
Phone: 5424 1516

When? 20 October 2023


A decade has passed since visiting the Cosmopolitan (Cosmo) Hotel and the only thing that has really changed is the desirability of this gorgeous Central Victorian town, Trentham.

Screamingly popular and around 80 minutes from Melbourne, Trentham deserves a beautiful looking pub and the town has this in spades with the Cosmo.

Best described as a sprawling, massive timber Ponderosa, the Cosmo’s glorious exterior screams old world, the heritage colours so in step with its surrounds. Inside it is timber throughout the well spaced front bar, interesting prints on the walls, split level dining room, another area to the right of the bar for dining/functions and then to the prettiest beer garden, which truly is a beer national park.

With the pizza oven outside proving the aromas, just visiting it and taking it in is well worth it. Along with the beer garden at the much loved Seven Creeks, Euroa, this one ranks in the top five I’ve encountered over the past 28 years.

An extra feature is the discrete cellar room, not only old world comfortable but a shrine to the best wines from this region.

The pub trades Wednesday to Sunday. Definitely No TAB /No Pokies.

Table service is to the fore with genuine points of difference in food and wine. And with the abundant produce nearby, the Cosmo makes the most of its natural advantages.

Best described as elevated pub grub, share plates mix in with wood fired pizza, pub classics and curries. Proudly it identifies the locals who support the Cosmo with Olives from Barfold, Beef from Ballan, and Coffee from Daylesford to name a few.

The only head scratcher is how the pub uses its front bar. More on that later.

The Cosmopolitan is a fine hotel.


Sharp, better level pub food is the calling card here. Menu reads very well.

Entrees include bao buns, chicken, kimchi, aioli (2/$21), borek, (3/$23), which is filo pastry parcels of spiced lamb w/ currants and chutney. The regional tasting plate ($44) is your perfect share in the garden on a warm day.

Wood fired pizza range from $22-32, eight of them in total, with the Moroccan spiced lamb, haloumi, tomato/basil salsa, sumac yoghurt ($32) appealing most.

Pub staples, burgers, parma, fish/chips sit alongside homemade beetroot pappardelle, and istra pork belly, mash, braised fennel, caramelised apple ($42).

And for something rarely seen on a pub menu, the Greek iconic dessert, galaktoboureko (filo, semolina custard) , vanilla ice cream finds its way here with a blueberry and earl grey coconut cream tart. They have your standard sticky date covered!

Beer is well presented (CD $7/pot), but plenty of independent choices exist. The wine list is a belter: with the love for locals from Macedon Ranges and nearby regions in abundance. Total surprise packet was a Riesling from Macedon Ranges, Silent Way (14.5/glass). It was fabulous.

Average prices:

Entrees – $21
Mains – $32
Desserts – $17

Tried was;

  • Entree: Calamari, Szechuan pepper, lime aioli, rocket. $22. The public doesn’t tire of this Hall of Fame starter. Here the Calamari stacks up well against competitors. hot, spicy, crisp, good aioli to enjoy with it, good starter, Very nice starter.
  • Main: BB Gummy shark, chips/salad/tartare. $34. The fish was firm, fresh, fleshy. The support cast had a bit of dash and wasn’t a ‘join the dots’ offer. Solid plate of pub fish and chips,
  • Main: Chicken breast, pea purée, smashed potatoes, lemon butter sauce. $40. Just a better standard of chicken, presented beautifully and are so well served by ripper potatoes. The number of plates heading from the kitchen confirmed its popularity.


The Cosmo is definitely a destination pub, and in the warmer weather, the pub absolutely shines. The service, food and amenities ensure its popularity.

While the prices are a little higher than your average (whatever that is) pub meal, they are genuinely better level with the produce used.

For such a small town, Trentham is well served for pubs with the much loved Pig and Whistle at Trentham East, and the marvelously quirky Radio Springs just down the road in Lyonville.

But a new chum is coming with the old Plough Hotel just up from the Cosmo soon to open, so more choice for locals and visitors alike.

In closing, something odd strikes me about the Cosmo. It’s not fatal, but there seems to be a reluctance to embrace its front bar, with a ‘head over to your table and we’ll bring it to you’. On arrival, we were politely ushered to our table, rather than stand at the bar and have one.

It was a scene repeated and to be honest the wait for a drink was longer than it needed to be.

So here’s a tip for the good folk at the Cosmo. Use that beautiful front bar as a meeting/gathering place whether it’s a local Wednesday night or busy Sunday lunch.

The Cosmopolitan has much going for it.

SCORE: 14.7/20

Tom Elliott