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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Sherlock Holmes Tavern, CBD

pub of the week
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Sherlock Holmes Tavern

Where? 415 Collins Street, Melbourne
When? November 12, 2021.

9629 1146


The Sherlock Holmes Tavern is a genuine stayer in the CBD and rightfully enjoys fierce loyalty from clientele  and a reputation of one of the best watering holes in town.

Run by the Kirwan family for a decade and more,  it operates so smoothly from the time you descend downstairs (its newer sibling at street level  Dr Watson’s ticks over nicely) and you know you have made the right choice before any ordering.

Gorgeous 5 or 6 sided  small bar is the epicentre, with small snugs to nestle and meet friends. The long rectangular shape is dotted with tables against the wall, with a small kitchen to the right beyond the bar.

Exposed brick and timber, some bric a brac on the wall and basically from the get go, a constant stream of patrons take block. Female friendly for sure.

The menu is expansive, on point and priced fairly. So is the wine, which set out on 2 chalkboards detail  a commitment to different lesser known brands at very fair prices.

Everything works so seamlessly here and nothing is an issue. Excellent adherence to COVID requirements and much love to the Sherlock for opening at 4 pm each Saturday (that part of Collins is much quieter so passing trade isn’t as voluminous) and it also presents the EPL premier league each Saturday night.  The trivia night on Tuesday is very successfully run to full houses.

Simply put, the Sherlock Holmes is a fine example of a city pub.


Naturally the menu pays more than a passing nod to its origins, e.g., The first Clue, Baker St Regulars, Dr Watsons favourites etc. How Sir Arthur Conan Doyle got the salad listings is anyone’s guess!.

From Buffalo wings (6/$12), naturally a secret sauce, to Bangers and Mash, onion jam, gravy, peas, $25.50 to Spotted Dick, custard, vanilla ice cream $12.20. You get the idea.

Beer covers locals, well served, but supported with an array of British such as Tetleys, Hobgoblin, Fullers London Pride.  From Ireland its O’hara Ruby Red Ale (like angels crying on yer tongue).

Wine is fairly priced and you will score a decent glass for $10/45/btle. Katooks Founder’s Block Cab Sav came in at a very reasonable $9.5/glass.

The average prices are;

  • Entrees –  $11
  • Mains – $25
  • Dessert – $12

Tried was;

  • Chicken satay sticks 3/$9. As expected, nice charry grill, moist thigh meat. Peanut sauce was a little watery and just lacked punch.
  • Porterhouse Steak, 250, MR, C@S or mash and veg. $34. Very good piece of meat, thick cut, perfect MR as ordered, so pleased that the order could be varied to allow for Mash and Salad. (sometimes this causes an issue). Mushroom sauce thick and luscious.  Excellent pub main.
  • Veal schnitzel, coleslaw, chips, gravy. $24.50. Veal was tasty, well portioned  w/ herbed crust with a rack of hot chips and thick gravy.  The slight letdown was the coleslaw that, in my opinion, has become too dry and stringy. (Over refrigerated?). Good dish however.


Signs of life in the CBD were evident on this coolish Thursday night recently with a good crowd inside  the Sherlock enjoying each other’s company on the (traditional) payday catch up. Best of all was the parklets on the footpath at capacity being used to have a drink, chat,  and observe the passing parade in our wonderful city.

There is something comforting and reassuring about this long time stayer in town.  In spite of the trends late 80s/early 90s to Go Underground (thanks Paul) that fad soon passed but for those who stayed the course, still  enjoy a continued popularity.  (The nearby Charles Dickens Tavern is one such).

Sherlock Holmes Tavern is well run, communal, and does what all pubs should provide and that is a place of comfort.  Here they do all facets of hospitality effortlessly.

SCORE: 14/20

pub of the week