Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Richmond Club Hotel
Richmond Club Hotel
100 Swan Street, Richmond
August 10, 2018
Second review (last circa 2009).
This is a Melbourne favorite and after a fire some years back, the Richmond Club hotel (RCH) has regained its status as one of the most popular, day/night pubs around.
The front of the pub was burned out so it was reassuring that the old tin VFL ladder, Fitzroy atop from Sth Melb (I think) still greeting you. This is an interesting pub and is worth a look around, from the high timber beams, large steel fixtures, small booths, communal tables, all surrounding the renovated front bar which (sort of) splits the pub in 2.
To the rear is the cosy beer garen as Melbourne trains scoot overhead; up to the first floor to take in the city and of course the G, which is a shortish walk from its Swan St., home.
Food and drink is bang on and if it’s a special night out, you’ll impress: if it’s a meeting place pre anything really, then the Richmond Club is a safe bet.
Five nights a week there is a spoil, whether it is $16 Parma on Tues/Wed, or a Sunday tinnie of Balter XPA, Garage Project, or the humble Melb B.
But the trick that is best executed is the welcome no matter who you are that you get from the owner/operators. No judgement is passed (so easily done given how good it is inside) and that rare breed of old time Barfly was there tapping along to Blur.
The RCH is a pub totally on top of its game.
This is a thoroughly modern pub menu, but with a little care and imagination, ramps it up and brings that..’how did they do/think of//that?’.
Entrees include sticky lamb ribs, sesame seeds, mint sauce (17), lasagna croquettes, parmesan and aioli, 4 for $15 or buttermilk chicken ribs, maple syrup, cool ranch sauce $15.
Mains read well too. Humpty Doo Barra (reliable) comes with sauce vierge, new potatoes, leaves (29), Braised beef cheek ragout is is a rich plate served with Pappardelle, and a massive 350g of St. Louis Pork Ribs, Carolina sauce, apple and fennel slaw, chips comes in at $28.
Homemade desserts including an apple and quince cobbler (why memories of Benny Hill are evoked is beyond me).
Entrees $15, Mains $25, Desserts $12.
Rosemary and Olive Rolls (3), black bean hummus. $13. Good. House made rolls with a great crunchy and taste and the dip was beautiful. Best thing, the fickle equation of bread to dip ratio hit again and without prompt was offered some more rolls FOC. now that is service,
Buddha Bowl. $18. Good. Big bowl of brown rice, edamame, crispy tofu, baby carrot, pickled ginger was a vegan’s delight. Pubs can offer this to appeal to an ever increasing population that embrace this. Flavours worked very well together,
Porterhouse, chips, salad, sauce. 280g. $18 (special midweek, normally 33). Very Good. What a bargain, plate was full, lovely salad, chips hot to the end, nothing was served up to cut a corner. Excellent shopping day or night.
Plenty of taps to choose from. Carlton D, Mountain Goat Steam, Bolter XPA. Stone and Wood at 6.5/pot met the mark.
Wine is priced absolutely to the mark and no real bargains here. The cheapest bottle is Heatherlie Sem Sav Blanc at (9.5/45 bot) and from there northwards. Not a bad drop to be fair, but no spoil.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
Great staff behind the jump, modern, engaging personable. Another tick is the background soundtrack (very Britpop) that is played at such a level to add to the atmos, not a temple to the staff’s personal playlist!.
Table service for the food, do you need a little more of this? Etc., added up to a great arvo in a smick inner city pub. Well done.
All day, every day should be the mantra of the RCH. In ever busy Swan, the amount of leisure dollar options are such that to take the foot off the pedal may give someone else a leg up, but not here.
And while the fixtures and fitting are very much modern pub attire, there is a genuine working class heart that was beating when looking at the locals, genuine barflys, around the excellent front bar which in itself is to be admired.
So you want to go somewhere sharp , great food and drink with wonderful views of town – rooftop – or beer garden views of the Glen Waverley line train then the RCH is that. Pre-MCG game, some mates, Melbourne Bitter tinnie, footy gear, then here is great option.
The Richmond Club Hotel, in the words of Roxy Music, is remade/remodelled. What Bryan didn’t say was the RCH is a beauty.