Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Corner Hotel, Richmond
The Corner Hotel
Where? 57 Swan Street, Richmond.
When? April 30, 2021
The Corner Hotel in Richmond, in the shadows of the overhead rail tracks in Swan Street, holds a special place in the hearts of Melburnians. From a music perspective, it has been one of the go-to places for live acts for the best part of 40 years. (And then some before that).
But the side of the pub that is underplayed is the fine level of pub hospitality it does as far as food/drink/ service that it provides.
Head upstairs for a fabulous rooftop experience with a wide ranging menu of food and drink, whilst catching the rays or shade depending on your mood.
It is expansive, modern, plenty of greenery, with drop dead views. The kitchen is exposed and a hive of activity. Behind the jump or working the floor, the staff is switched on. Sometimes you sense that staff is just mailing it in, but not here: genuine camaraderie all round.
The menu is pleasing from a price and size aspect as you won’t be short changed. No real surprise at the Corner as Vegetarian/Vegan options are offered in a meaningful way. Wine is priced around the mark on a per glass/btle basis for pubs.
As far as modern pub grub, it compares favourably with much of its counterparts and this is an aspect that should be lauded as much as its commitment to live music.
The Corner Hotel is an excellent all rounder.
Good, diverse options from the get go, with all your favourites in support. Here’s a sample starting with the entrees of Five Spice Fried Tofu w/pickled cucumber, soy & yuzu glaze, coriander ($15) or the beloved Lemon Pepper Fried Calamari w/salsa verde, labneh ($16).
Compare and contrast the mains. Wild Mushroom Orecchiette w/peas, broad beans, preserved lemon, flaked almonds, extra virgin olive oil (24) or Beef Burger w/ cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, mustard mayo, ketchup, chips (22).
Like the food, beer offers choice between the established and new. One that fits both categories is Melbourne Bitter (the Hawking Brothers jingle makes me thirsty) which is so popular now. Well presented and served at $6.5. The wine list offers smaller wineries and a Pinot Gris from the King Valley – Cool Woods – was a fine choice. $10pg/$47/btle.
Here’s a free tip; book Tuesday night for the $20, full plated Rump. What a way to take in all of Melbourne.
The average prices are;
- Entrees – $15
- Mains – $26
- Dessert – $12
- Black Sesame Hummus. $13 w/Grilled flatbread, pomegranate, extra virgin olive oil. Tasty, certainly different from your pub dips, something extraordinary was achieved; the right amount of flatbread to Hummus.
- Corn & Caramelised Leek Croquettes (5) w/chilli relish, manchego. $15. Hot, gooey, cheesy fresh, this is how they should be served.
- Za’atar Chickpea Burger w/ tomato, pickled red onion, quinoa tabbouleh, black onion tahini, chips. $22. A big tick for the adventurous take on a pub classic, just needed to be a bit hotter when it arrived.
- Corner Chicken Parma, Mozzarella, leg ham, tomato sugo, chips, dressed leaves. $24. Lovely parma, plentiful, again just arrived warmish rather than hot. All good however.
There are two distinct faces to the Corner Hotel. From a very much a “last man standing” POV, it is the unbreakable link to the past in Melbourne music when Countdown/Pub Rock reigned to the now, being one of, If not, the most desired boutique-mid sized venue in Australia for local and overseas music acts.
Perform here and it is badge of honour stuff. Let’s face it, if the Corner was important enough for the likes of Mick Jagger or Joe Strummer to do a set, then it’s good enough for anyone.
The other face, one of a good pub to wine/dine/socialise is a winner. The rooftop setting, replete with views of the G and Melbourne skyline, sets you up for an excellent time.
Iconic, with its true meaning of uncritical devotion, is often misapplied to something/one that is temporarily in favour.
Not here. The Corner is an Icon of the Melbourne pub landscape.