Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews Little River Hotel
Little River Hotel
10/14 Flinders Street, Little River
When: 11 May 2018
Second review (last circa 2013)
The winding road from the highway to the Little River Hotel Motel (LRHM) is a journey of around 3 kilometres and in spite of its proximity to Werribee, the town still has a remoteness best displayed all those years ago in the first Mad Max movie.
The pub (with accomodation) next door has a quaint mild west feel to it from the saloon style entrance and smallish bar, complete with cowhide stools breasting the bar, through to the spacious dining room and vast area outside which has some tables and chairs to catch the warmth.
It is charming in its own right and as far as food and drink goes, sticks to a well worn path. There are no surprises and to be fair there needn’t. It is good, straight up and down hospitality and even though 5 years has passed since last visit, (and as I suspect probably 15) little has changed.
There is a small kiosk TAB, (No Pokies), and on a Thursday was doing a very good trade, so its popularity in current form is established. The pub runs two menus – bar and dining – the latter having a small price increase.
There was genuine hit and miss in the two mains, but with a fairness in pricing and a generous plate, the offer appeals to all ages.
Entrees in the bar run to a bread/chips line while mains, supported by a number of specials, fall into the wrap/steaks/burger range but little is over $20 in here. From the specials, Spicy Adobo Chicken, chips salsa was $24, while an aromatic Beef Penang Curry, jasmine rice, Roti was $20. Popular from the dining room menu was a large plate of Sticky Pork ribs, chips onion rings is 22.
Entrees 10, Mains 22, Desserts 10.
Garlic, Bacon, Cheese Cobb Loaf. $12. Good. Home made, big pieces, tasty. It was a nice loaf of bread.
Rump, 300g, chips, salad. $22. Not Bad. Good shopping and the chips and salad were well done and fresh. The steak itself was fine, maybe a little under seasoned but nonetheless was a good pub meal.
Duck Pasta. $28. Miss. This was the all star line-up. Duck, chorizo, spinach, tomato, goats cheese, pappardelle. For sure there’s a lot going on here, Martha, and in itself makes for a good plate. But at the bottom of the plate, was this immense pool of fluid which totally took the air out of the rest of the ingredients. Not sure if the goats cheese was needed. Just a slightly more subtle hand.
Stock standard line up of tap beer from the Carlton range, but very good Draught, handle pots, $4.8, excellent buying.
Wine list was limited to a few choices, Lindemans, Rothbury, but an absolute gem was provided. Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cab at $8.5/gl//34/bottle. This is a ripping wine at a screamingly fair price.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
Owner/operator run pub, doing their best and succeeding. From the two main people behind the jump, one was having a great day and it showed: the other wasn’t and it showed!
There’s a fine line between generous plating and overreaching. One meal got it right and one didn’t. Simple as that. The rest of the package is fine.
They do get an extra tick however for the cleverness of a sign, regarding the footy tipping at the LRHM. It read something like;
‘Financial Non payers. Until further notice your results will not be posted on the board’. How clever. What subtle pressure to pony up immediately coz everyone in the pub knows if your subs are up to date.
And as you are in a small pub, small town you don’t want to be known as a financial non payer.