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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Retreat Hotel, Abbotsford

Retreat Hotel

226 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford
9417 0110
When? February 1, 2019

www.retreatabbotsford.com.au

VENUE

Great heritage venue which has recently reopened, meaning another fine pub option in Abbotsford/Collingwood. Wonderful to know it has been brought back to full trading when development loomed large.

The venue itself has a perfect, intimate front bar, small and rectangular, with the trappings that clearly resonate inner suburban old world pub.

There are two dining rooms, benches and tables to dine and they have managed to squeeze in a pool table between the rooms.  To  the back of the pub is a smallish beer garden, dog friendly.

Foxtel for the footy.  No Pokies no Tab.

This is a well run, owner/operator that has enjoyed a great reputation for many years. Consider that in tact.

FOOD:

Better level pub grub, covering all bases with points of difference along the way.  Genuine specials, highlighted by a Sunday roast, for $15, across most days of the week.  The following was tried and all were enjoyed;

  • Buffalo Wings – chicken wings in Franks hot sauce ( and has a real kick) with blue cheese aioli, celery & carrots sticks – $12. Good serve (7-8), meaty, tasty)
  • Moroccan lamb salad with spinach, pumpkin, pine nuts, cucumber and feta served with tzatziki sauce. $22. Good serve of lamb, interesting flavours, filling
  • Chicken Korma, Cumin Rice, Yoghurt. $23.  Right flavours, big serve, good eating.

DRINK:

Hawker, Balter, Stone and Wood, Two birds are amongst the craft taps featured.  Interesting the publican is proud that he pours an excellent  Carlton Draught  (4.7/pot) and believes it a significant advantage as fewer inner city pubs carry it.

Wine falls slightly below the mean price at 8.5//42/bottle.  Smaller list, not to a formula.  Off Road Riesling, Clare Valley was the preferred at 8.5/glass

SERVICE:

Owner/operator, one out, made the extra effort to get from the jump to engage the customers and get feedback.  Good.

MUSIC LEVELS:

New category and a bit of a hobby horse for me.  Dining at lunch doesn’t need (or at best barely background) music IMO. Zero for intolerable/10 for Perfect. This was a 5/10.  A notch too intrusive. Britpop was the style.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Big tick.  First generation Nintendo with old format SuperMario the game on the screen.

Also the shrine to the much loved Sullivans, with Paul Cronin (Dave) looking at us remains. Loved it..

SUMMARY:

The Retreat has come back as good as ever. Everything that defines what a pub is here.  Experienced operator, real welcome,  good food and drink.

SCORE: 14/20

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