Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royal Mail Hotel, Whittlesea
Royal Mail Hotel
29 Beech Street, Whittlesea.
March 2, 2018
Following Plenty Rd to its end and making the gentle right hander into Beech, the Royal Mail Whittlesea appears after one corner and indeed is a lovely pub sight.
Fading, washed blonde/cream exterior, double storey and large, with a beautiful lush green tree out front, Masonic hall over the road, drive thru Bottleshop, the pub is so pretty in a once semi rural and now barely outer suburb of Whittlesea.
Inside there is plenty of space; large sports bar area (TAB no Pokies) divided by an octagonal wooden bar, to a dining room with slightly exposed kitchen. To the rear there is an enclosed outdoors dining area and beer garden.
What I liked about this pub is that in spite of having the game to themselves (for the moment), standards are high and a genuine pride in the place is self evident.
The food and drink is fairly stock standard dotted with some specials, but their calling card is it’s all done on premise without the need to bring in and reheat. Pricing is about the right mark, and given the size of the pub can accommodate live music at the weekends, and do some meal deals during the week.
All moving parts at the Royal Mail functioning well.
Generously plated pub grub of a good standard sums up the bill of fare here. Liking the fact that the 2 size plates – entree and main – are finding their way onto pub menus. Shellfish (scallops/prawns) with a sauce and small salad fall in the $15e/25m range. Pub pastas are in the 13.9e//18.9m and tread a line well travelled.
Steaks from 26.9, Pie of the day, 22.9, fish and chips 23.9. During the week, the Royal Mail has $10 main pastas and $12.50 parmas. It is not an overblown menu but gets to the point.
Entrees $15, mains $23, Desserts 7.5.
Crumbed scallops, sweet chilli sauce, garden salad. $14.9e. (5pcs). Good. The scallops were quite large, roe attached, well cooked, good old fashioned pub favorite,
Rissoles, mash, peas, gravy $19.90. Good. 3 mid sized beef rissoles, good quality off-cuts used, are teamed with the holy pub trinity – spud, peas onion gravy. Terrific support cast, repeat belch factor of 7/10, make these a Pub Hall of Fame Menu must.
Garlic Prawns, jasmine rice, garlic white wine sauce and salad. $24.9. Good. Solid pub grub. Ten pieces, fresh, crunchy, and a sauce that supported and didn’t overpower, this plate of Tiger prawns made for easy eating,
Mix of Lion, Carlton and some independents (Mountain goat), all served well with the proper attention paid to the glassware. Wine list is price and user friendly (Lehmann, pepperjack, oyster bay), but it was the wine by glass offer that interested me. Rather than open a bottle and pour, the pub sells piccolos of flat white and bubbles as its first pour. All Yellowtail and the 187ml, self contained, is very fairly priced at $8. Pinot grigio tried and was fine.
SERVICE AND STYLE:
Now the staff on a busy-ish today were courteous and inviting. It is a large enough area doing bar and delivering the meals but here was no problem as they engaged the customers and did utmost to ensure all was well with the pub experience. Some people like being asked how things are/some don’t. I’m one who does as long as it isn’t every 30 seconds. Right timing here.
The suburbs up Plenty road grow at an astonishing rate and soon Whittlesea will be joined to Mernda and as such new chums to this delightful green-wedge suburb, will want a comfortable pub to be part of their life.
The Royal Mail is just that, and in spite of being the only one in town at this moment, the offer is honest friendly and satisfying.
And after all, if pubs can’t, or unwilling to provide these essentials, then they wither on the vine and disappear.
The Royal Mail is is a good pub, serving the outer North well.