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Scorcher reviews: The Yarra Hotel

The Yarra Hotel
295 Johnston St, Abbotsford
theyarrahotel.com.au

Tony Leonard isn’t going to be happy with me.

I’ve strayed into his territory this week, like a neighbour’s dog on the loose.

Like some kind of famished interloper, I’ve gone in search of Melbourne’s best pub grub and my quest has landed me at The Yarra in Abbotsford.

While Tony has far superior pub knowledge and know-how than I do, I am certain of one thing: the Yarra Hotel is a mighty place to get a feed.

From a financial outlay point of view, the Yarra is hard to beat. The price-to-quality ratio is off the charts. All meals here are $15. Yes, you did read that correctly. Fifteen dollarydoos. And that’s not a happy hour special; the meals are $15 every day of the week.

The recently revamped menu includes all the pub classics you know and love. It would scandalous if it didn’t. You know the score: juicy chicken parmigianas, rump steak with fries, battered fish and chips.

But there are some options you don’t see every day on an old-school pub menu. Things like corned beef with braised cabbage, mash and horseradish and dill cream; a slow-cooked beef ragu served on polenta and a house-made falafel plate with picked veg.

In fact, there’s a decent list of vegetarian options for those who prefer to give meat a wide berth as they punch a few pots.

Being a stone’s throw away from Victoria Park, The Yarra also doubles as a shrine to the Magpies; a giant mural of a smiling Bob Rose adorns the back wall of the dining room. So Blues fans, like myself, may feel a little unnerved when they walk through the door. But make sure you park any lingering animosity you may have towards the Pies because the food here is well worth crossing enemy lines for.

Beer offerings are well throughout too. There’s almost an even split between craft taps and traditional, local lagers like Carlton Draught. I had a pint of Pirate Life from Adelaide and it went down magnificently.

So, as a place to get a casual, thrifty, top-notch feed it’s hard to go past The Yarra I reckon. At the risk of further angering Tony Leonard, I might even declare The Yarra Scorcher’s pub of the year.

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