Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Riddells Creek Hotel
Riddells Creek Hotel
10-12 Hamilton St., Riddells Creek
June 2, 2018
Comfortable, neat, happy pub at the foot of the Macedon Ranges, the Riddells Creek exudes service and comfort on arrival with a heavy dose of pub hospitality.
Owned and operated by sisters, the Riddells Creek Hotel, diagonally opposite the station, wins you from the get-go as the cool grey/brick exterior looks like it is always freshly painted, and inside the public bar is spacious and littered with comfy bar stools with fireplaces a feature in both bar and dining room.
Dining room exposes its kitchen and kids playroom, with exposed brick walls and high ceilings (think ski lodge at Buller) and the right angle bar services both areas and with staff willing to provide the hospitality, it is so easy to settle in.
The menu sticks to a familiar line and does some excellent specials during the week. Again being a place of community, music is a constant for entertainment. This is the sort of pub that captures both the romantics view of the old country pub while providing a thoroughly modern offer.
If for no other reason than wanting a nice place to get to not far from town and enjoying some good times in a most pleasant pub, then the Riddells Creek Hotel will meet your needs and then some.
Entrees fall into the category of ‘smaller mains’ with garlic prawns/scallop mornay or variations on a bread offer e.g., chilli and garlic, bruschetta.
Mains comprise of a range of steaks, fish and pasta, with fully plated steaks ranging from $30-45, macadamia crusted barramundi @28.5, or a seafood platter with all the favorites at $40.9 (including the grilled barra). Indeed the pub offers a greek platter – grilled lamb, chicken, prawns, scallops, calamari, greek salad and yoghurt at $39.90.
Stack of these meals are discounted at lunch time while steak and parmas are offered on special earlier in week. Desserts are set out in a display cabinet.
Entrees/Shares 17, Mains 27, Desserts 9.9.
Duck Spring Rolls, sweet chilli and soy dipper. $16.5. Good. 3 long tubes have a really big taste of duck and make for an easy start; word to this pub and others to check how the garnish and salad on plate are,
Roast of the day – Pork with roasted vegetables. $22. Good. Big thick tasty slices, excellent apple, wonderful pumpkin and sauteed veg. Chips rather roast spuds were ok, but the skin of the chips came away a little too easily. C’mon go all the way!!!
Vegetarian Lasagne. $25.50. Good. Big slab of pasta bursting with pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, capsicum and ricotta and was a hugely generous and tasty serve. Comes with chips and salad.
Steady as she goes here with beer predominantly from the Carlton line (4.8/pot) and very well presented too. Carlton D, Melbourne B, Great Northern. A larger bottled selection is available. A fine special $4/pot is offered from Holgate – Mt. Macedon Pale – and works a treat.
Wine choice is broad and very, very fairly priced. (Any time the Blue Pyrenees in a pub is a tick over 30 then buy!). But in a nod to a forgotten time, the wine of the month special was Preece. There was a time (30 years ago) that if you produced this label at a party, then people would seek your counsel on the grape. Coming out of Mitchelton, $8/glass, my mind wandered back to a time when a glass was poured and in the background Spandau Ballet’s True or Gold was on the record player! Aah So True.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
The pub can justifiably claim the ‘good old fashioned country pub service’ moniker here. From the start, the Owner, manager, bar and wait staff want you to be comfortable without the suffocation of asking your health every 30 seconds.
Glad this one fell on the radar. The backstory is interesting with sisters taking over the RCH some 8 years ago when a fresh set of eyes and some TLC was needed. Hard yards is one thing; convincing others who have drifted away is another.
There are no easy goals in pub hospitality: Grind, rather than flair in the early stages is needed. Slowly the battle is starting to turn your way and now a confident offer is on offer, all day every day.
The story at the Riddells Creek is a good one. Plenty of good time to come too.