Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Prince Patrick Hotel, Collingwood
Prince Patrick Hotel
135 Victoria Parade, Collingwood.
August 17, 2018
Second review (last circa 2011).
This landmark hotel on Victoria Parade, famous for the paint peeling off the outsides (literal), has been rejuvenated with new eyes and delivers a fine, straightforward offer of good ol’ fashioned hospitality.
The Prince Patrick Hotel (along with the Provincial in Fitzroy) was an inner city darling in the 80s before the explosion of pub hospitality in these areas took hold in the 90s.
The insides have changed significantly, much for the better. Clean, light/white colours abound inside in the 2 tiered bar/dining areas, polished boards and wonderful bar top screams ‘have one standing up here’. Much effort has gone into the re-birth after some fallow years.
The courtyard is small, leafy and drop dead pretty and screams private work function close to town, and a discrete area inside the pub can do similar for more people.
What is the winner is the team behind the jump, bringing experience from other pubs (local and overseas) with great, simple pub grub by a young cook clearly having heard tales of ‘what is was like in the olden days’.
Happy hour Wednesday, Trivia and a very fair lunch deal Tuesday to Friday makes this an excellent extension to those living in nearby unites who want a bit of space.
The PPH has gone from a work in progress to a settling into its work nicely. For sure no screaming bells and whistles but if looking for a good day/night in a pub on fringes of town, then you will get that here.
This is a simple pub menu laced with favorites, all fairly priced and at lunchtime bangs out a meal for a tenner. Snacks include Pork Belly in Char Siu, Grilled chorizo w/olives and feta (both $12) up to a full board /meats, cheese, pickles, rosemary bread for $20. Burgers/Fish and chips all around $18 (less at lunch), make up a familiar set, but they are plentiful at reasonable rates.
The menu is not extensive, but genuinely comforting.
Entrees $10, Mains $20, Desserts $12.
Buffalo Chicken Wings. $12. Good. A big plate of wings arrive with their own hot/spicy sauce. And it is both. They are meaty and some blue cheese arrives as the dipper for contrast. So many pubs do these yet few get them as right the PPH.
Bangers and mash. $18. Good. Well delivered pub classic. 2 big bangers, big smooth/chunky mash and the sweetness of a mountain of onions that provided a sweet, sweet gravy confirmed it was pub grub 101 with honours.
Smallish on beer and wine side but bang on with selection. Carlton D (becoming increasingly harder to find), with brews from Mornington, Mack Daddy, Cricketers. Well served and can be bought in 3 sizes (including 200ml glass).
Wine is priced to the mark, which is the $10pg/45/bottle. This has been the median for pubs for a couple of years but at least the PPH isn’t joining the dots. A neat riesling – Irvine from the Clare region – was $45.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
It is a point that will be reiterated by me until the last ever review. Owner/operators have to engage better than pokie pubs, once inside they have to win you by going to a greater effort. No safety of 5 golden rhinos. The team at the PPH go the extra yard and it is the small touches such as, would you like a sample of this craft beer/wine?, if unsure, that only they are willing to deliver. It’s all good.
What a most enjoyable, pleasant pub experience was had here. For sure, the new boys are about building relationships, get to know etc, but the honesty and genuine love of the game shone through.
The reason I highlight this as I am finding an increasing world weariness in pub hospitality – maybe from the corporate run where bottom line is king – that suggests it’s all too hard putting on the shiny face, all the time.
Not here. With 3 principles partners, ( 2 front of house, 1 cook), with clean, bordering on pristine insides, this is a rejuvenation of this prominent pub on a prominent thoroughfare.
Good start, better times to come, barracking for their success.