Pub of the Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royal Hotel in Bacchus Marsh
The Royal Hotel
200 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh
When? 23 November 2018
Second review (last one in 2016).
In the space of 3-4 years after a serious re-fit, the Royal in Bacchus Marsh has settled into a constant rhythm to be providing a better level of food and drink in the area, and truly becoming a locals’ local.
From the outside it invites with a deep brown colour over brick, small raised platform at front separate from footpath to claim its own area with deftly placed partitioning; inside to a large public bar, atrium, beer garden and old world, high ceiling, dining room.
The Royals’ menus set themselves a bit higher than your standard pub grub, but ensuring if it’s simple we can do it, if you a bit more flair then it’s no problem either.
Indeed since the major reno, the style has been pared back a little and that’s fine. What it has established is a proper community that has an all-age appeal, due largely to the excellent publican.
TAB yes; Pokies No.
There are 4 distinct areas to dine, but a separate menu if you wish to go to the all service, delightful dining room that will look after your needs.
The Royal ticks over nicely.
All palates, all price ranges, be it in bar or restaurant and to be fair, well priced.
Szechuan pepper and sea salt Calamari, $14.9, House made dips, Turkish croutons $12.9, whole baked Brie, pistachio crumb $14.9, are some smaller options, along with a range of breads.
You can enjoy the much loved burger (with lot $19.9) or a Parma fully plated at $23.9, but the pub has put on Nasi goreng (about the 4th time I’ve seen this year) with its mix of peas, bacon, capsicum shallots, fried egg for $22.9.
The Royal does 4 steaks kicking in at $31.9 for a 300g black city Porterhouse, w/fries, salad, sauce up to a 500g T-Bone in the bar for $38.9.
Entrees $15, Mains $28, Desserts $13.
Steamed Boa (sic) Buns, pulled chilli pork, Asian salad $15.9. Not bad. Gaining more popularity is this subtle use of Bao, with a various fillings. Here it was a case of nearly; the pubs needed to be a bit softer and warmer, the pork needed a bit more punch. Don’t worry, not a shred of slaw was left: they were nice, but a nearly dish.
Confit Duck Maryland $28.9. Not Bad – Good. Big tasty piece on a plate with crushed potato, baby peas and leeks, fennel crisps. Just a bit more bang from the chilli to elevate in my opinion, but certainly rich and filling. Again another nearly dish.
Seafood Linguine $29.90. Not bad. All manner of seafood – fish pieces, pippis, squid, prawn comes with a white wine/olive oil base, some cherry tomato (large but not split, a trend I don’t like), basil, chilli (but faint only). No faults and if you have a mental picture of how this pub favourite looks, then the one at the Royal is served identically.
Good range of beer and wine, all at the standard pricing, all well known labels and brands, so you will definitely find something to please.
Stuck with the beer – Carlton Draught – and if you were to have one pot for the year, the Royal should be on your list. They get an immutable fact of running a pub and that is; Tap Beer done well is your main profit, bottom line driver. It is treated so well here.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
Absolutely full marks to the manager, Daniel, who has stepped in and quickly endeared himself to the locals. There is an art to being a publican that can only be developed by being behind the jump. Summarised, it is being attentive to needs, knowing names, aware of who needs serving.
Busy Thursday lunch, he got a PhD in this.
Good, happy welcoming pub. Lots to choose from, but above all, is a real community entity so gathering in the lovely beer garden, or having one on your own in the bar, space abounds and it is well set out.
Bacchus is such a gorgeous outer suburb/inner regional town depending on your point of view that has some good ol’ pubs satisfying locals. From what was tried, it is easily established that this pub doesn’t go the deep fryer all the time! This was a competent meal, lovingly served.
To that end, it is refreshing to see that this pub trying to elevate from the pack, and under the direction of the publican and the clearly an attachment to the town, good times are to be had here for many years.
Photo: Royal Hotel Facebook