Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard visits the Skinny Dog Hotel
Skinny Dog Hotel
155 High Street, Kew.
When? March 29, 2019.
The Skinny Dog, located a little up the hill from the Kew Junction is one of those pubs that no matter what time of day, something is happening in a most comfortable setting.
On entering from High St, you see a TAB (small) that doesn’t intrude. To the right is a pool table, it too, seems to fit in without a surfeit of excuse me’s.
The bar is next taking centre stage with low red lighting protruding. A series of booths for something a little private (family meal etc), with two large modern dining rooms to the rear. The mood is set, eternally 5pm. Dimly lit; not dark.
Prints of greyhounds festoon the walls and a further area at the back of the pub to have a beer and catch the rays. There is no doubt that the SD is a sports mad pub, local and international pay TV offering and above all, (and bless it) for trading long hours 7 days a week.
Its popularity is established with plenty in for a meal or catch up during lunchtime with all ages appeal. A stack of bargains mid week in food and drink.
The Skinny Dog understands the customer base, best summed up as ‘don’t scare the natives’. The formula for hospitality was set here long ago and works time and again today.
In keeping with the feel of the pub, good solid menu whose cooking backs it up. Prices are fair and some stonkingly good bargains mid week. Smart starters, good range of burgers/pizza and mains that have a difference such as Crumbed Veal Cutlet $26, with braised autumn vegetable compote, or Pork Belly (30) with caramelised onion puree, apple, fennel and snow pea salad, RWJus.
- Cheddar and Jalapeno Croquettes. $14. Lovely bowl of hot, gooey croquettes, good size, fresh, all flavours kicking in. Yep, no problems,
- Chicken Wings, Caramelised Chilli. $1/ea. Fair price, order the quantity you think you can get through. The caramelised chilli provides the kick and does so with a warmish hummm.
- 300g Rump, Chips/Salad, creamy pepper. $29. Simply put, a good pub steak. Too often overlooked, Rump is perfect in a pub setting. Flavoursome, thick cut, well seasoned. (it’s $15 on Tuesdays – free tip).
Draught beer was excellent. Clean taste, glasses exemplary holding the lace inside, properly poured. $5.4/pot, if it is served like that always, is well worth it. Stone and Wood, Mountain Goat, Peroni add a point of difference.
Wine list is well thought out, around 10 reds/whites to choose. Pretty much all are priced to the mark – the mean in pubs is 10pg/45//bottle depending on quality. Smaller makers to the fore e.g., Soumah (YV), Chockstone (KingV).
Tried was a riesling Kyara Thistle and Burr (10/48). Great taste, fair price. While everything points to ‘no-miss’ Riesling from the Eden Region of SA, you still gotta get it right; they do.
Young, modern, engaging, helpful. Really part of the comfortable package from the get-go. I don’t think pubs realise how much the punter loves a little spoil. Something for nought which only results in an upsell. Here the staff was happy to offer a taster of wine, foreign in taste to my palate before purchase.
I liked: I bought!
New category. Today was a 7/10. Noticeable enough without too much intrusion . Very AOR (adult oriented rock) soundtrack. Mercifully the music didn’t clash with the horses.
Never before have so many prints of greyhounds (the pubs old trading name) covered a pub wall, dare I say, anywhere in the world. The multi framed photography is very clever.
This pub is good. If you can imagine everything packed in, that is user friendly, then the Skinny Dog has it. Catching the magical genie of innate comfort can be tricky in a pub, but here there is a nice buzz or hive of activity with enough space to set out the tent pegs.
From management to staff, the Skinny Dog gets that and does it easily.