Having been an infrequent visitor to Queens Parade of late, it’s taken me by surprise how much has changed with the pubs in the area. The Terminus, for example, has an impressive new extension housing a craft beer bar and a separate kitchen serving Thai inspired food. I’ve overlooked some good new things very close to home and it’s time to make amends. Some of these changes appear under appreciated if the lack of reviews means anything.
The Royal Hotel in the backstreets of Clifton Hill was my original destination the other night, but I’d failed to check their website and, although the front bar was open, the kitchen was closed. My aim of trying their enticing menu was thwarted. Another time.
The next place on my mental list was the Clifton Hill Brewpub, the newly revised former Clifton Hill hotel. The sticky carpet and shabby interior is gone, replaced in the front bar with bare floorboards and bright yellow powder coated steel framed high tables and stools, an enormous restaurant space out the back and an in-house microbrewery. Their pale ale is fantastic.
I’m always torn when going to a new style pub whether to order something traditional, like a parma, to see how they do it compared to everyone else, or order something more complex to see what the kitchen is capable of. Tradition won and I chose the mixed grill: sausage, steak, bbq rib, bacon and crumbed lamb cutlet. House-made bbq sauce. Roast tomatoes, onion rings and crinkle cut chips in their own miniature frying basket.
My friend had the beef burger. We left empty plates because the food was immensely satisfying. This is great modern pub food. I hope the investment made in the building and the business brings rewards, and crowds once the summer holiday period is over. Each end of the Queens Parade now has a great pub with craft beers on tap. Enjoy.