Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Grand Hotel, Mornington
124 Main Street, Mornington.
When? February 7, 2020.
Beautiful big old pub, 160 years plus and part of the Cobb and Co. route, the Grand has grown into one of the best pubs on the Mornington Peninsula and is a perfect fit along the Main street of this southern bayside township.
Indeed the Grand has been held in the one family’s ownership – The Taylors for 40+ years – and along the way after renovations, holds its old world charm intact. Heritage listed naturally.
Entry from front or rear, the expansive Sports bar (TAB/Foxtel) is spacious while to the rear, a relatively discrete pokies area is better accessed from the Supermarket car park.
The main dining room is large with an army of staff looking after you. Some wooden booths to go with the tables, glorious motif carpets and a great view of the passing parade on Main St. The pub proudly supports live music and there has a number of big hitters grace its doorsteps.
For sure the pub attracts an older clientele, but the surety of hospitality sets a comfortable tone for any age group.
Here is just a small example that sums up the Grand. In large letters, the pub states on its menus WE HAPPILY SPLIT BILLS. Find that sentence elsewhere.
The menus for the food and drink are solid and expansive. I’ll start with wine and the Grand supports locals such as – Geppeto and Taylors Estate – and price them very reasonably, e.g 8.5pg//40/bottle. The Geppetto Chardonnay is a failsafe option. ($9pg). Along with Carlton Draught, Mornington Pale and St. Andrews Beach Brewery (all with horse racing references) were well poured and yes 7oz/200ml glasses provided.
Food covers all bases and has favorites such as Fresh Flake Fillets (27, grilled or fried), chips, salad, tartare or Herb Crusted Pork Cutlet (30), melted mozzarella, confit mushroom, mash, beans, jus. The seafood platter for 2 will set you back $45, but what was tried as entrees was very good.
The average prices are;
- Entrees – $15
- Mains – $25
- Dessert – $10
- Pan Seared Canadian Scallops 4/$19. Arrive with ripper cauliflower puree, fresh and tasty// Parmesan Panko Crumbed prawns, 5/$18. Plump, firm and elevated with a chipotle lime aioli,
- Lambs Fry, $23. Served with crispy bacon, gravy, mash, vegetables and was told a fine representation of this old, old, old pub classic,
- Grilled barramundi, broccolini, romesco, $34. Very fair size slab of fish, the whole dish was a beauty.
I liked the way the Grand delivered its package of food, drink and comfort. To be a stayer in such a fickle area of business bears testament to the Taylor Family. (Patriarch Bernie passed away recently, but the family has ensured no change to service levels).
In each area someone was in charge, directing the traffic, and attending the tables to provide assistance or get feedback.
Mornington (and the wider Peninsula) has some splendid pubs and the Grand stands up well when compared to any. No bells, whistles gimmicks; just spot on hospitality to suit its customers.