Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Inkerman Hotel
PUB: Inkerman Hotel
WHERE? 375 Inkerman St., East St. Kilda
PHONE: 9527 2176
WHEN? 13 October 2017
This is my first review. Actually, it was my first time ever in here.
Set aside from the hustle of St Kilda and closer to Balaklava is the very pleasant, iridescent exterior, Inkerman Hotel that does a good line of food and drink in a most understated, almost backstreets kind of way.
The feature to me is the small, intimate, separate front bar, with it old school carpet, timber furnishings, and room for 30 at a pinch. Sadly these rarely exist but this one is to be both envied and cherished.
Through to the larger all purpose bar/ dining room/pool tables/live music area, the Inky welcomes its neighbourhood to come and enjoy the amenity, knowing full well it is a safehaven for all ages wanting a night out.
The pub is extremely fair with its pricing for food and drink and offers different without scaring anyone off. It is very easy to like. TAB yes; Pokies No.
With the work being done at the rear, the Inky was clearly a work in progress so not at its pristine best. That said, you can envisage how this will look/feel when completed and I think will be something special.
(Note to staff: don’t really need the Human League and other big hitters of the 80s going toe to toe in volume with the jackhammers).
A real suburban local for the locals.
This current menu is very snack/share plates and reasonably priced. Indeed there is only a couple of full whack meals, e.g., 300g scotch fillet, chips/salad/sauce at $28, substantially discounted on Wednesday nights. The pub offers an all trimmings $18 roast Sundays.
Otherwise, it’s sausage rolls, tacos, burgers and the parma comes in at $17, with a pot.
Entrees/Mains $17, Desserts $8
All shared plates, and all quite neat.
Beef, bacon, grain mustard sausage rolls – incl a little pot of HP sauce. 3 for $10. 3 generously sized S/rs, good flavours (bacon a little anonymous), excellent pastry. No faults, wash them down with a pot!
Crispy flathead tacos, cabbage slaw, red onion pickle – 3 for $13. Excellent shells, a little too much slaw and would have preferred fish to be without batter but nonetheless good and generous eating,
Tabasco spiced chicken tenders (3), chilli mayo. $10. The best of the 3 tried, with good crunch for the chicken, and ripper mayo. Very fair shopping,
This is a good old boys pub so the tap beer – mainly from the Carlton Portfolio e.g. Draught, Melb bitter, stone and wood (again), fat yak. $5.2/pot and very good. Bottles of local craft aplenty to choose from. The Inkerman takes a great line with its pricing for wine. Plenty of options high 20s/low 30s. The always consistent Leo Buring Riesling was 7.5/pg/30/bottle. Those prices for this iconic brand haven’t been around for sometime. Good on them.
SERVICE AND STYLE
In spite of the renos, staff was very pleasant to deal with. Because of its location, this is more family owned, cardigan wearing St Kilda rather than full on Fitzroy/Barkly/Acland. Every part of the offer reflects a steady as she goes approach.
From the cosy, small, locals front bar to the wider all purpose lounge area, this is a pub that is easy to like. Nothing about the Inkerman is overblown and to me blends in so well with its environs. With a small outdoor beer garden and a simple prettying up, this pub will further gain in popularity.
Curious when you ask about the old Inky: the reaction generally is summarised as ‘it wasn’t like that in the old days’! However, this is now your family local, bordering on sedate Balaclava so don’t expect too much left of centre.
The lunchtime Thursday crowd said it all – this is one comfortable pub.