Friday, February 23, 2018

The renovated Victoria Hotel, Footscray

43 Victoria Street
VIC 3011

Although we visited the old Harts Hotel a few times we were happy to see a change and a move on from the TAB and pokies dominated vibe. The new Victoria Hotel is quite different with a new central bar dominating the main space along with some high tables and booths. There is a seperate dining area and a small courtyard with more tables outside.

The menu features some Aussie pub classics with a few other options. We ended up paying a couple of visits with family over the last couple of weeks and got to check out several dishes.

Stu was expecting Black Pudding with a Pork Scotch Egg, but  got a Scotch Egg featuring an egg coated in minced Black Pudding and Pork, served with water cress and apple chutney. He was pretty happy with the result and combination of meats had that distinctive black pudding flavour.

The Scallop and Prawn ravioli with cauliflower, burnt butter and bottarga got high praise.

The steak was ordered medium rare and came slightly under by our estimation, but was otherwise a success.

I reverted to type and had the beer battered Blue Grenadier and triple cooked fries with salad and tartar sauce. The batter on the fish was a little dark and I was a little worried it was over cooked, but it tasted good and was appropriately crunchy and surrounded a moist piece of fish. The chips and salad were fine too.

The double cheese burger looked a little small but was packed with kimchi mayonnaise, burger relish and came with triple cooked fries.

On our second visit we shared the Garlic Bread which was a substantial looking loaf and came dripping with butter with the strong flavours from the garlic along with tarragon, chervil and parsley.

The fish pie was on the specials list for this visit, which had changed in the interim, we were warned it would mean a 25 minute wait. The mashed potato and cheese topping was nicely browned, below was a melange of fish and a light creamy sauce packed with flavour.

I nervously ordered the tandoori spiced and roasted cauliflower being concerned about how substantial it would be. As I was assured when I ordered, the half head of cauliflower along with the brown lentils, mango chutney and coriander was a good sized dish. The combination of flavours, especially those from the chutney was great.

The spectacular salt and vinegar onion rings stole the visual show atop the bangers and mash with red wine jus. The sausages themselves were heavily packed with meat, the rings crunchy and light.

The service from the bar and wait staff was all friendly and the meals came out at a good pace. On both a weekend and weekday evenings the place was pretty full with limited tables remaining and a decent buzz around. The meals were good, perhaps the only gripe were that the prices for teh overall meals seemed a tad high in comparison with other similar options locally, with four of us and a couple of drinks the bill was $180ish, for three with a drink each just over $100. As we live just down the road I'm sure we will continue to drop in from time to time, and more often than the once every year or two pre-reno!

Click to add a blog post for Harts Hotel on Zomato

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Addis Abeba at The Night Heron

228 Nicholson Street

Although we'd previously popped in to the Night Heron for drinks, we'd not checked out their food options. These include the in-house 'FriendTime kitchen' on Sundays and on other days ordering from the near by Addis Abeba and coming in March Mexican from Los Pollos.

It took a couple of visits before we realised that the bar now occupies the space that once contained Taj Palace an old favourite haunt of ours. The new fit out is quite a change, with a wooden bar featuring some great craft beers.

Out the back the small garden area offers a surprising number of tables...

...and shade from a surprising number of trees.

On Wednesdays there is a regular deal of a veggie combo from Abbis Abeba and a pint of the house lager for $20.

The full menu is also still available.

The better half went for the Sega Firfir. The lamb was finely chopped and the torn injera took up the sauce full of flavour from the tomato, garlic, onion and chilli.

I took up the special offer and received my special vegetarian combination which featured all of the  veggie options available on the menu.The mild Shero featured chick peas and splint spicy powder cooked with onion and garlic. The more spicy Miser Wet had a kick with its red lentils cooked with onion and garlic in a chilli powder sauce. The Vegetable Combination mixed lentils, yellow peas, potato, carrot ,cabbage, silver beet and chick peas in a spicy sauce. Crushed fava beans cooked with onion, tomato and garlic went into the mellow Foul. The Firfir was a stew which consisted of tomato, garlic, onion and chilli powder tossed with injera. Along with this came an Addis Salad, all on top of a slightly darker than regular injara. Each element  was great and I loved the variety of flavours and textures.

It was pretty quiet the day we ate, but on other visits it has been busier, although that has been later on with more of a drinking crowd. The barman mentioned that somedays it gets busy with diners too especially on Wednesday when the deal is on. It took about 25 minutes for our meal to make it down the street, and it is great to have the option to get some of Footscrays great Ethiopian food in a different type of venue. It's also good to see the varied businesses of Nicholson street working together.

The Night Heron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Addis Abeba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato