Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the North Port Hotel
North Port Hotel
Where? 146 Evans Street, Port Melbourne.
When? March 19, 2021.
First time visit when trading as the North Port, for many years was successfully run as the Albion and a former De Bortoli Pub of the year. (2006).
So renamed due to the proximity of the North Port oval, home of the legendary Port Melbourne Football Club, this new version keeps up the standard of the pub that has endured and is endeared by locals for many years.
But there are some slight cosmetic changes that has raised the bar at the North Port.
The pub has been decluttered, freshly painted, and courtesy of the City of Port Phillip, allowed the owners to run a beer garden over the road, alongside the light rail next to North Port station. (All purchases in the pub, not at the garden and staff will provide table service).
The bar dominates within the pub, with a stack of perimeter seating and benches circling. There is a large separate dining room, say 12-16 if the need arises, and another, small beer garden to the side. No TAB/No pokies.
Two young smart operators have taken over and are winning friends rapidly. It is easy to see why. All elements of running a pub in 2021 are there with a mix of smart pub food, good selection of drinks, perfectly poured tap beer and a can do attitude makes this is an excellent option to consider.
You walk in and you want to be here. Just another excellent example of Melbourne inner suburban pub hospitality.
An interesting range of snack/entrees sets the mood. Potato cakes, malt vinegar mayo (10) reminds me that not enough of this classic is on pub menus. Zucchini flowers, goats cheese, salsa verde $5/ea, or School Prawns, lemon pepper, chilli lime $12 may take your fancy.
Mains have pub classics such as steak sanga/ burger/chicken parma and up to $8/plate comes off a lunch Monday-Thursday. Pork Cutlet, kohlrabi remoulade, lemon is $32, with a lamb rump, pearl cous cous , charred leeks is $35.
The beer is outstanding. Cold fresh pots of CD, are $6, but the glassware is treated perfectly to retain the lace, and it is unadulterated in flavour (meaning that it’s CD, not a hybrid of another slow moving barrels that you are drinking). Wine list is expansive and at the mark, (ave $11pg/55/bottle), but they do carry the excellent RieslingFreak, (13pg/60/btle).
The average prices are;
- Entrees – $15
- Mains – $28 (fully plated)
- Dessert – $12
- Tasmanian Oysters 6/$20. Mix of natural and spicy (courtesy of nduja). Well priced, fresh and the tang of the spice,the crunch of breadcrumbs adds a neat dimension.
- Sausage rolls, currywurst ketchup. 4/$14. Four monstrous pork sausage rolls, covered in filo have this ripper sauce – currywurst – a first I’ve encountered in a pub. Packed tight, good herb flavouring and this wonderful sauce (primarily, paprika/curry powder/cinnamon) makes for a belter of a starter. Really no need for mains after these, but…
- Chicken schnitty. $17 Lunch Mon-thurs, , normally $25. Homemade fresh, large, with an egg and pepper sauce, hot fries, rocket/parmesan salad. Outstanding buying any day of the week.
- Sirloin, 250g, Bearnaise, Fries, Rocket/Parmesan. $20 Tuesdays, normally $30. The comments pertaining to the schnitty apply here. Great meal, very, very fair pricing.
This is pub hospitality 101, the equal of any in and around Melbourne.
Whether it is the demands of succeeding in Port Melbourne where the competition is white hot for the leisure dollar, or the young blokes that are running the pub have it in their veins through experience, the offer at the North Port sits very comfortably against all comers in the area.
Well priced food and drink for the quality, an off site (and small on site) beer garden with the light rail line for the aesthetics, or just a good old fashioned clean and friendly pub to meet and greet, the new look North Port stacks up very well.
This is the sort of pub that makes you barrack for their success. North Port: A beauty.