Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Victoria Hotel, Brunswick
380 Victoria Street, Brunswick.
When? May 31, 2019
The Victoria Hotel, just west of Sydney Rd is a pub that has moved with the times without any fanfare by providing the basics of a good, comfortable environment with an offer on all facets of the business priced so fairly.
Inside you are transported back to the 60s and is as good a replica of what your local used to be, including an old family room setup. (Depending on your POV that could be a good/bad thing). You couldn’t get a designer in to get it to such detail, so let’s assume not a great deal has been done inside.
But it works and after a beer or two, the nostalgia kicks in.
The bar is central to the dining rooms, large and comfortable and an array of bric a brac adorns the walls – again of a by-gone era. The warm and covered beer garden basically shares a common wall with the units next door, but this is high density at its obvious.
There is a generosity here with banging food and drink specials all week and the pub sets up as a hostel for backpackers also. Music, trivia, round out the extras during the week.
The Victoria gets it right in an unassuming manner.
The Vic provides a well priced list of favorites – Wagyu Beef Pattie with the lot $19 – and little modern twists – Black Bean & Cashew Patty, Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Baba Ganoush & Relish for $18 as examples.
But I’m a sucker for kitsch (and there’s plenty of that here with the superbly plated –
BEER BATTERED FLATHEAD + CHIPS w/ Potato Cake, Dim Sim, Pickled Onion, House Tartare & Salad. ($24). You beauty.
- Beef and Stout Pie, mash, greens, gravy. $20. Housemade proper pie, meat was tasty and had cooked down beautifully, stout evident and the veggies great. A good meal at the right,
- Roast Pork, potatoes, crackling vegetables. $22. Plentiful plate, with the moisture of the roast retained when it can so often miss the mark. Spuds, gravy, and vegetables made for a filling meal.
The Vic has a small wine list fairly priced, but it is mainly different beers, commercial and craft that dominates the palates. Good quality CD, (5.5) along with an excellent pot of Young Henry IPA. No matter the taste buds, the likelihood is the Vic will have your fancy.
In spite of the busy night, there was enough staff on to meet without too much waiting. No attitude, No problems.
8/10. Got it right, maybe a notch down but no complaints. Loads of Rock/Blues from the 60s.
Paying homage to the 60s, the pub has set up in its dining room a fairly typical (as I can recall) living room from this time, complete with an old style Black and White 16 (?) inch TV with old style table, chairs and desk lamp. Memories of TV dinners watching Perry Mason flood back and all the time he toyed with Hamilton Burger when closing arguments were presented. (Burger won twice however). It is strangely hypnotic.
The pub describes itself in lacking pretension and they are bang on in its assessment, to the point of self deprecation.
The Victoria is the right pub, with the right pitch for the area. Walking in on a cold May night and the place had a good vibe with all parts working so well.
If you like pub life and all the things it represents, Brunswick has become the go-to, and The Vic sits very comfortably with its counterparts.