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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royston Hotel, Richmond

Royston Hotel

12 River Street, Richmond.
9421 5000
When? February 8, 2019
www.roystonhotel.com.au

VENUE:

Discreet old time boozer in the back blocks of Richmond, it is strikingly different to any other pub I’ve seen as far as outside exterior colour goes:

Chocolate Brown. Yep. More Club Dark than Dairy Milk.

Inside with a large horseshoe bar dominating,  the concrete and tiled floor, old style 60s (orange) lighting, knick knacks and furniture,  pool room (separated in its own parlour) this is a pub that is a little off the beaten track (end of Bridge road near Yarra) it is a reliable haven for pub punters looking for a ripping catch up.

Championing craft beer – why not with the wonderful Mountain Goat brewery only around the corner – and some different styles, pared with interesting well priced food, the Royston has a very welcoming package.

There are two big  dining rooms; the smaller, quieter one from the front bar is also most appealing, the menu has the right dash of traditional with a bit of flair.

Foxtel for the footy.  No Pokies/ No Tab.

This is a well run, owner/operator pub, that has a popular and has well loved following. Easy to see why.

The owners have reopened the Park in Abbotsford to similar acclaim.

FOOD:

Better level pub grub, and weeknights there’s a bargain to be bagged. (Porterhouse 250g, Ralphs, C&S, RWJus for $18. ^Top Gear, Right price. The menu reads well with the pub blinkers applied. Tried was;

  • Cheeseburger, Spring Rolls, ketchup, mustard, lettuce cups. 13/5/3. Neat trick, sighted only once and that was at the Park. Put them together, bite into the excellent oozing cheese and lamb filling and enjoy,
  • Chicken wings. Honey glaze, Sriracha, Pickled Cucumber. Melbourne must be one of the big hitters in the world for chicken wings.  Good representation here. $16.
  • Sweetcorn Croquettes, Salsa, Tomato, Goats Cheese. $14.  Good plate, nice flavours working with the beer.

DRINK:

The Royston celebrates craft far and wide.  And different. Kaiju Crush Tropical Pale from Dandenong, Fixation Squish Citrus IPA from WA. Moondog Passionfruit and Pineapple NEIPA at 6.9%.

Sticking to the road more travelled, an excellent pour of Mountain Goat Pale ($6/pot) slaked the thirst perfectly.

Different and small is the Wine list at the Royston. Prices just a tad above the mean, but more power to them having a crack by offering such. Amherst Cab Sav or Crittendens Pinocchio PG sail in at $11/$48.

SERVICE: 

Busy Wednesday lunch, was topped off with some of the most enthusiastic, friendly service I’ve encountered in doing this since 1996. Nothing was genuinely too much trouble.

MUSIC LEVELS:

New category and a bit of a hobby horse for me.  Dining at lunch doesn’t need (or at best barely background) music IMO. Zero for intolerable/10 for Perfect. This was a 5/10.  A notch too loud, sorry. British 60s/70s was the dominant style. Van singing Jackie Wilson said from St Dominic’s preview (BTW< – what is the second line of that song) is great, better just a fraction down.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT:

Big tick.  Your own pool room. (sort off).  No sticking the cue into someone’s stone and wood. It’s a lovely pub.

SUMMARY:

The Royston is a stayer. Only been twice but there is something that is almost bombproof here. You want a good fun time with friends, in surrounds that are genuinely unique, then here’s your spot.

Just go.

SCORE: 13.5/20

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