Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Terminus Hotel, Abbotsford
605 Victoria Street, Abbotsford.
When? May 24, 2019.
Four or so years since the Terminus Hotel had its big resurrection, the pub has moved into a beautiful groove and, on the evidence of this recent visit, has hit the right chord with punters.
It is hard to place any pub in Better Homes and Gardens without raising an eyebrow, but this is one of the best re-fits I have seen in 25 years. It really was an ugly (but much loved) Duckling into a Swan with 3 areas that any pub would be proud to have just one.
The front bar, all shiny tiled and massive rectangular bar, screams ‘one more’. It is supported by bench seating and tables to the side and back, and a nest of booths.
Upstairs is transformed into a bright, airy green space with a bar/watering hole that blends in so well, while slightly subterraneous/sunken to the rear, is a beer garden similarly set out. Weddings, Parties: you have the idea. Any of the spaces look fabulous.
But you have to run a pub and the Terminus doesn’t miss here with a range of interesting food options, beer that is well presented and the feel good comfort factors that see us going back to a pub.
High density unit living is here forever and in suburbs like Abbotsford any oasial relief is welcome.
Solution solved: Go to the Terminus.
Good pub grub, right priced with a bit of dash is how to sum up the Terminus’ food. Basically everything appeals in a menu that does a stack of shares, and mains, a couple of desserts. Sticky Pork Belly Baos – an increasing item on pub entrees – came in at 3 for $15, with a DIY Soft Shell Crab Taco (4 pieces – $18), are some of the smaller shares, with Pork and Fennel Ragu pasta (23), Seared salmon,(28) with Mash, squash, peas, zucchini, tarragon emulsion, are a couple of mains.
- Cauli and Cheese Croquettes – $12. 4 Big pieces, excellent mix of flavours, the lemon mayo worked very well as the dipper,
- Fried Chicken, Chipotle Mayo. $14. Like the foregoing, this was easy grazing, good heat and meat in the wings,
- 250g Porterhouse, sauce, chips/salad. $18. (special). What a stonking bargain for a Tuesday. Decent shave of its normal (and fair price), the quality of meat made for a tremendous main. Fresh salad, biting pepper sauce, completed the fine package.
Carlton Draught Unpasteurised is the Terminus’ calling card – its proximity to the old brewery is obvious – and they know how to serve it beautifully. Melbourne Bitter, Mountain Goat, Stone and Wood are some other choices, but the pub looks after its draught. 5.5/pot is the mark. Given the beautiful old front bar, it is a perfect fit.
There is absolutely no spoil as far as wine by glass/bottle goes. While there are 2/3 around the 10pg/45/btle mark, most come in much higher. Tried was Burns and Fuller Shiraz. Nice drop. $57/btle?. Hmmm.
No problems here, the staff working the jump were switched on and courteous, although the hint by me of..”could you repeat that pls?’ given the volume of the background, was lost on them.
2/10. Too loud.
Friends it is lunchtime, and while the success of the Elton John biopic lingers, it sounded like Reggie, Davey and Nigel were belting out Rocketman in the front bar. Great song and all, but it’s 1pm, not 1am.
Pubs like to talk about different areas within the building, at the Terminus, not only does it have your traditional cream/green half height tiles, with booths to the side, but a first floor L shaped beer “jungle”, and a downstairs terrace/beer garden. Only with a few cosmetic changes since the last visit, it still has one of Melbourne’s best pub interiors.
The love has existed for this pub since Alison and Fred took over a delightful but grungy establishment 20 years ago, made it into a home away from, and the rest is history. The Terminus may be at the unglamorous end of Victoria, but they get it right here.
Walk in, and in any of the discreet areas, you will find modern pub comfort.
The bar still resonates old world; the revitalised upstairs/downstairs are great for a larger get together.
Some businesses spend gazillions renovating and find themselves with ponying up a couple of years later. Not here, this fit, look and feel will happily sustain publican and punter for years to come.