Or? 33 Errol Street, North Melbourne.
When? June 11, 2021.
The descriptor “old fashioned pub”, while flirty, tends to be overused in any place that is a bit tattered on the outside but has had a makeover on the inside.
Let me reassure you: the town hall looks untouched since it was marketed in 1872. But that’s part of its charm.
Consisting of 3 main areas, the public bar is the first to greet you upon entering from Errol St. Compact, the walls are adorned with old vinyl covers, posters from previous rock tours around the world, tables stuck for dinner and a small front bar (if you can get close enough), to enjoy the good vibes.
Up to the dining room, the exposed kitchen, a similar story is told. It is incredibly popular with a menu to please at very fair prices. A colorful outdoor cafe enclosed at the back with a sort of cobbled alley, tables for dining if numbers increase.
The intangible and mysterious “vibe” is captured here. A good place to visit, meet, socialize and enjoy. In all of Victoria’s talkative pubs years, Town Hall is unique in this way – it doesn’t seem to be doing anything overtly different, but it’s one of Melbourne’s must-see pubs.
Always busy, bustling, crowded, attracting loyalty from the suburbs, just to be there. It is very good.
Extensive and honest pub food at a reasonable price. Nothing fancy or too fancy, just well-made pub food, big plates and comfort food as we remember it.
Chilli squid appetizers (14), all kinds of tacos ($ 6 / piece), nachos / quarters, etc.
But the main menu at Town Hall is a roll of honor of what was served in pubs years ago, and is still popular today. Burgers, chicken / beef, with different mayos, pickles, cheese, suitable for meat, all with fries, (20), Steak Sanga (22), Turkish bread, caramelized onion, mustard mayo, until the fish of the day (Flake) C&S, (24) up to 350g fully plated eye fillet for $ 38.
Good range of vegetarians, for example – Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils, Eggplant Parma, all priced at around $ 20. The wine list price is around the mark (10 pg / 45 / btle) and a range of beers, with the trusted pot of Carlton Draft well served.
(Note: Prices shown, range shown on website are at odds with internal menus. Again to all operators, please make sure your information is as up to date as possible).
The average prices are;
- Appetizers – $ 13
- Main courses – $ 22
- Desserts – $ 10
- Duck spring rolls, hoi sin, $ 2/12. Absolutely packed with duck, backing vegetables, cooked and served hot with a crispy filo case, they were generous and filling, VERY good start.
- Burger with batch, bacon, egg, caramelized onion, tomato, mustard mayo – $ 20 (4 additional patties). Great service, home made, great ingredients, fully plated, everything is good.
- Italian sausages, mash, peas, brown onion sauce. $ 20. If ever a dish looks like what this pub is, it’s Bangers and Mash. Rich and dark pool of sauce, spicy snags, big, big serve, yes.
The singularly different looking and most unique (inside) Melbourne pub. (Bridge, Richmond on the podium for the silver medal).
There is one attraction, be it the old-fashioned public bar / bistro, the grand beer garden / gated beer lane that couldn’t be replicated by anyone, nor accurately quantified by any metrics. Still gloriously dimly lit.
The point is, it just works. And maybe it could be as simple as running the pub the way everyone of all ages expects: fun, friendly, inviting, community.
Out of pure curiosity, come on, enter, enjoy. The Town Hall Hotel, North Melbourne is a ripper.
RATING: 14.5 / 20