Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Railway Hotel, Windsor
29 Chapel Street, Windsor
When? April 5, 2019
Standing imperiously over Windsor station, the Railway is a long time stayer in the game that constantly moved with the times to be always popular.
All the action is now on the first floor (think the lift died some time ago so up the stairs!), and is a great mix of bar/dining room/lounge deck, that has the gazillion dollar view back to town.
The pub ran an outstanding restaurant in the pub until recently – Highline – but with the sale of the owners farm, all the action is upstairs now.
In a compact way, the pub has a smallish dining area – tables replete with cutlery, artisan salts, and there is plenty of lounge seating. Outside is partially covered so the bases are covered for fickle weather.
The food is not overpriced and covers all bases and to me, is a notch or 3 above your standard pub meals.
The bar is the centrepoint here and is modern and inviting. Stack of drink specials during the week, and a Sunday session that packs them in.
No Tab/No Pokies.
The Railway and is a very understated, but fine pub of Melbourne.
The Railway doesn’t overwork its food and as a result, it is smart pub grub, nice twists to elevate. Marinated 1/2 Chicken is around $20, Scorched Atlantic Salmon $23. Eye Fillet, 250g is $30, and a big TBone is $48. Interesting starters to share e.g., Buttermilk chicken tenders in a BBQ sauce, Fried School prawns to go with a beer.
- Oysters, natural. $3.50/ea. Sydney Rock. Very Good. Briny, plump, so fresh; I suspect were shucked only moments after ordering. Not normally for me but well worth it,
- Pork Sausages, mash, dijon. $15. (lunch special). Sourced from the farm that supplies much of its produce – Oak Valley – the sausages had that packed, taut consistency of excellent snags, teamed with good mash. From a range of “TRackwork Lunch specials”, good eating at fair price.
Commercial beer tends to focus on Lion Nathan products – James Boags, Little creatures, Furphy. More credit to the pub as they look after the glassware which showcases the tap beer at its best. Kosciuszko Pale ($7) kept up the standard. Craft by the bottle includes Moon Dog ‘Pine/Lime’ IPA, Stone and Wood pacific, Kona (USA) Lager. Starting price around $9.
Wine list, like the pub is compact and runs to the $11-12/gl $50/bottle line. Pewsey Vale Riesling never misses. $11/gl.
Warm, efficient, on point. Indeed in the 7 years since the last visit, the same barman, with a surety of service, was on hand to explain what they do, the different drinks etc. Quiet day, order at the bar, happy to provide table service. Very difficult to be negative.
Today was a 8/10. Very Good. Right level at lunch for some laid back funk. Tunes that sound good at any time of the day, better at night that provides an ambient background. Sunday sessions, I expect, would be a blast.
Some pubs try and manufacture cool, others just have it. The Railway drips it in an unpretentious way. But its point of difference – a 24 hr bottle shop licence. YEP!!. No matter what time of day, you want a takeaway, you got one.
There is a good combination of cool spot to be in while knowing all the time that you are in a pub. Admittedly a rooftop pub, with the great views back towards the CBD.
The food and drink is contemporary and fairly priced. The Railway is different to most pubs in Melbourne and to me, works on any level you would want your local to work.
Well worth checking out.