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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the York on Lilydale Hotel

pub of the week
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York on Lilydale Hotel

Corner of York and Swansea Roads, Mt. Evelyn.
9736 4000

When? September 20, 2019.


Welcome to Melbourne’s one and only Country Club Estate Pub.: The York on Lilydale Hotel (YOLH) in glorious Mt. Evelyn.

Driving through the manicured pathways to the front doors, fully expecting to see Rodney Dangerfireld and Ted Knight at the Pro Shop,  the pub is spread out on acreage that we can only ponder how large it is, but as a pub – part of the Woolies/ALH group – is really going hell for leather in upgrading its food and drink offer (not bad as it is at the moment) to something that would make it the envy of the group.

This is the best of their pub in my opinion in Melbourne.

For sure it retains the standard of these pubs; Tab, Pokies, Functions, Live Music, and a stack of room for an overnighter or longer.

But is has ramped itself up, at considerable expense, to the introduction of “The Collective’, a dedicated place, doing interesting share plates, smokehouse meats and a stack of craft beers.

Also, the reach in food and drink is expanding here, so it makes for a pleasant change to the standard offer.

Combining this with a great and caring attitude from all the staff, led by a manager who really ran the room so well (apologizing for a meal that was slow in coming out and making an offer to appease the customer), the YOLH is a place to go to with confidence.

Again another meaningful effort to bring a new set of customers to enjoy the facilities. Look forward to positive growth over the yea to come.


Fully plated lunch, Monday – Friday, at $15 is a reasonable price to pay for a chicken parma, fish and chips, cheeseburger. Entrees follow the  wings, garlic bread, calamari line. But mains however, have some interesting choices to supplement the standard offer – say Graziers 250g Porterhouse ($30), Pork Ribs, full whack ($32).

Tried was;

  • Barra and Scallops, sweet chilli creamy sauce, rice, $32. Good quality seafood, barra from Cone Bay, scallops fresh, plump. I have maintained that outer ‘burbs pubs are a haven for ‘Gastronomic alchemy’.  Put creamy sweet chilli sauce  (not for me) in the same basket as Creme brulee with Maltesers.
  • Veal Scallopini, tomato, onion and mushroom creamy sauce. $26.9. There is no doubting the quality/quantity of the meat, but it is sage that brings this dish to life rather than the creamy sauce components here. Not bad however and easily elevated..

Ps. What is the obsession that all pubs have with creamy sauces??!


The YOLH is given some space to expand beyond the CUB (beer) and Treasury (wine) as its offer. And this is where they need acknowledgement because the pub genuinely embraces local producers, e.g., Watts River Blonde (Healesville), Detour XPA (Coldstream) from the taps, and wine from Rochford Estate, DeBortoli, Oakridge from the Valley.

Prices in line with the mean and CD (5.5/pot), good, Innocent Bystander ($10pg), Chardonnay equally so.


Nothing to report. Spotify under the category of ‘pleasant medium paced rock during lunchtime at a pub’.  7/10.


Very good from the moment you enter, to ordering, dining etc.  Two things noted; someone genuinely in charge and a real enthusiasm to serve. Good stuff.


This may well be an arcane element of pub life, but along with the Lower Plenty Hotel, the YOLH has the prettiest pub car park in Melbourne.  Be careful to note where you may wish to enter and park close to it, lest you end up 100 metres from the desired location.


The YOLH was not the first choice today. Cunninghams in Warburton was but for the second time in 2 years, the pub was on restricted hours due to a planned power outage. Will get there one day.

This is a big corporate pub daring to break the mould and encouraging people to come in and sample different, summed up as ‘traditional pokies pub offer’.  Having re-checked with the pub, the response to the “Collective” has been overwhelmingly  positive.

I liked the York, even before this new offer was presented. Suspect there is a determination and willingness to make it even better.

SCORE: 13/20

pub of the week