Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royal Hotel
2 Main South Road, Drouin.
When? November 13, 2020
The Royal Hotel Drouin (RHD) is a sprawling old style brick pub in the very pretty town of Drouin (Warragul’s next door neighbour).
Get to the station, turn right, over the hill and you’re there.
Looks good from the outside, (shiny half height tiles against painted white brick), inside has extensive room to spread out be it in the stylish modern public bar, large function room or terrace, the pub provides accommodation and when the State in back in full swing, live music will be part of the package.
Adherence to the Covid restrictions are paramount and all details are dutifully collected along with providing sanitisers for the extra layer of protection. Good on them. You could have trebled the numbers inside.
A genuine locals’ local, the vibe is pleasant and like so many in the regions, doesn’t have the luxury of pokies or TAB supporting the bottom line. For sure it has been a slog, but this is not obvious.
Large menu, covering all bases, big servings and a few specials. Wine list is smaller and fairly priced.
The RHD proudly wears a badge of good, popular country pub.
I have always believed that a bit of food alchemy takes place in country pubs and the thought of maple baconnaise, teamed with honey sriracha for the Jalapeno Poppers intrigued. Sadly the baconnaise part had been removed.
But if you fancied a butter chicken inside a sourdough cobb loaf, sour cream, coriander – $22 – then step right up. Having seen this in Irish pubs with Lamb stew, this could work very well. Chicken breast, filled w/mozzarella, wrapped in prosciutto, potatoes, asparagus, roast carrots. Then topped with tomato, olive, garlic and basil sauce. Plenty going on at $26. Top price is $36 for the 350g Porterhouse, full whack
All seniors meals come in at $18.
- Jalapeno Poppers w/honey sriracha sauce. 5 chunky, well coated, large chunky nuggets arrive, sweet heat from the Jalapeno. Sauce neither here nor there, maybe missing its advertised partner. Good start,
- Tennessee Parma. $27. Bacon, Cheese, Jack Daniels sauce, melted cheese, chips and salad. Nice presentation, easily feeds two, good flavours.
- Crispy Skin Salmon, sweet potato and macadamia puree, asparagus, roasted cherry tomatoes, scalloped potatoes hollandaise. $27. Another big serve from a pub favourite. Good flavours. Fish was delivered well. Reckon the sauce was a standard tartare, not hollandaise, but a mere quibble from me.
Unashamedly repetitious in summary from me, but the adherence to the restrictions was first rate. All pubs, please keep the vigilance up.
The Royal Hotel Drouin is just a good country, a nice straightforward offer, run by people who clearly have a connection from with community – a primary function of any pub.
Good hospitality, a little over an hour from town. Easily able to cope when further lifting of numbers kick in. This pub will continue to trade successfully.