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Pub of the Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Clyde Hotel, Carlton

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Pub of the Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Clyde Hotel, Carlton

Clyde Hotel

385 Cardigan Street, Carlton.
9347 1874
www.theclydehotel.com.au

When? April 29, 2022.

VENUE

Within the shadows of the great Melbourne Uni on the corner of Elgin and Cardigan is a very fine old pub, The Clyde, still dispensing old school pub hospitality in spades with an offer that appeals to all.

No doubt in its time it would have been a nefarious hangout for the underworld for this once downtrodden suburb, the gathering place for radical students of the 60s,  and a venue to rejoice or commiserate the deeds of its beloved Carlton FC.

When you walk in, you know what to expect.  Grand old public bar where you can stand and talk to the obliging bar staff, assorted sporting/Carlton bric a brac on the walls, high wooden tables to enjoy the absolute on point pub grub.

To the side and rear,  there is a large dining room (memories of the 60s/70s flood back), a stage for various live music/trivial pursuits, with a leafy courtyard (literal) looking out at the terraces across in  Cardigan St. A couple of small parklets are set up to dine on the footpath of the aforesaid street.

No TAB/No POKIES. The pub trades 7 days a week from Midday.

Everything at the Clyde has a comforting and familiar ring. Carlton Draught/Coopers Pale/White Rabbit are available on tap; the wine list is a little different but very fairly priced, with a glass of a most decent Red/White available from $8.

Pub Grub Hall of Famers , with a little twist or two, a spoil of a meal deal during the week, and  all reasonably priced completes the offer.

It is hard to imagine that the Clyde will ever change given the steady hospitality course it charts.

And that is a good thing.

FOOD/DRINK

This is pub grub 101.

Seven or eight starters, a range of burgers, parmas, steak. Straightforward and welcoming.

Entrees/ starters include the everpresent Crispy Cauliflower, secret sauce, (14.9), Poppin’ Chicken (15.9) or Eggplant and Zucchini fritters (14.9).

Mains include the Clyde Burger (18.9). Barramundi Burger, coleslaw, cheese, tartare (20.9) a range of Parmas priced around $22, up to a Clyde Mixed Grill, (29.9), that includes chicken thigh, sausage, beef pattie, minute steak and egg.

During the week, there’s a good shave from the full priced menu:  Wednesday night my pick for a Steak and drink for $22.50.

Beer’s served well, Carlton D at $6/pot,  a Glass of Hoggies Riesling is $8 with most bottles coming in around $40. That’s good shopping.

Finally, how apt that the Clydes Signature Parma, topped with Hot Sopressa, olives, roast capsicum (26.5) is called the Godfathagiana.

Be my guest.

The average (bistro) prices are;

  • Entrees –  $14.9
  • Mains – $25
  • Dessert – not really

Tried was;

  • Clyde Poppin Chicken, with spicy sauce. $15.9. Big bowl to share, (maybe 15 pieces), good size, fair shopping.
  • Pork and fennel sausages, mash and house sauerkraut. $22.50. Big tasty snags, fennel sufficient to notice but not dominate, plenty of mash, a hearty pub meal.
  • 300g Sirloin, MR, with chips /salad//veggies, mushroom sauce/mustards. $27.50. Given the price of steak, this is a bargain. To provide a fully plated meal, steak very well seasoned and of good quality, and get it in a full retail setting for this price represents real value.

SUMMARY 

The Clyde steadfastly remains true to its pub roots as much of the hospitality scene in Carlton continues to change.

By that the front bar, dining room, courtyard don’t appear to have changed at all over the journey and what works is the offer in a simple, yet well executed  old school pub kind of way.

Interesting to note the lunch session on the Wednesday attended  seeing such a broad cross section of the working public, in number, happy to catch for business or pleasure.

I believe that in spite of a liberal definition nowadays of what constitutes a pub, it is self evident when you enter one; it looks like and feels like a pub from your earliest memories of going into one before bars, micro-breweries, beer halls, pop up whatevers that somehow are  now added to the mix to be called a “pub”.

Be assured the Clyde is a classic pub from any era.

SCORE:  14/20

Neil Mitchell
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