Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Queen Victoria Hotel, Enmore

167 Enmore Road, Enmore
Reviewers present: BurgerBot, Joe Blogs
Time of day: The dinner shift

"Something something for everyone!"

(that's "3.5 rubber chickens" in the old system)

One could quite easily walk right by this Enmore Road establishment, without giving it much of a look-in except if you were looking for a bottle shop or a gambling den. The front of the QVH is dominated by these two things, hiding the potential that lies within.

Walking through the first 10 metres of the "Sports Bar" is a bit weird. At this point we're not sure if we're in a gambler's pub or a cafe - The warm glow of 'Teletext alley' beyond the front bar attempts to lure you through or send you on your way, a decent number of TVs are playing sport and races, and then there's the peculiar setup along the first section of bar of a pastry display, pie warmer and coffee machine. Opposite are some cosy booths for relaxing and sipping your beercino while fixing your hair by the wall-to-wall mirrors.

Keep walking. Mind the dazzling and hypnotic magic eye themed carpet.

Past all this we start feeling like we're in a pub. Hoorah! Although we still find televisions being pushed in our face (great for those who are interested in watching the sport or having a punt while sipping their favourite coldie) we can start to relax at one of the high tables with a beer down the back of the room. Never mind the views of the weird cafe up front and the TAB room. On the back wall we find the bistro kitchen and it is nice to see in through the kitchen, being assured there is nothing to hide and no funny business being put into the tucker. With a bit of a peek-a-boo around the corner, you'll find a rear semi-covered courtyard area with cafe-style seating and some comfy bench seating. Hello! More TVs!

Some signage in the front bar points out that there's a "level 1". Just by the Willy Wonka Magical Glass Elevator you'll find a stairway to heaven. Ok, maybe not, but what we did find was a nice surprise. Here you'll find a tidy dining area, a nicer bar and yet another larger out-doory-feeling dining area - the larger of the dining areas appears to be a "kids friendly" area with some kids present on the night we pop in so parents take note. There's also a room tucked around the corner with lounges, booths and a pool table - note, Wednesday night in this room is poker night!

Rear courtyard
The Beer

A schooner of Carlton Draught will set you back $5.20. I like to be able to get a sub-$5 Carlton Draught and while this isn't the case tonight, we find out it is possible with a members special, but more on that in just a bit.

Also on offer in the front bar you'll find yourself deciding between the Resches Draught (also $5.20), Fat Yak, Australian Cloudy Ale "Itchy Green Pants" (IGP), VB, Coopers Pale Ale and Bulmers Original Cider.

Tap selection upstairs includes the Coopers Pale, VB, Resches, IGP, Carlton Draught, Fat Yak and Bulmers, as well as Tooheys New, Cascade Premium Light and Pure Blonde. The specialties are tapped on one trunk and the standards on the other. I hear Burger Bot say, "All the basics on one tap. No cross pollination!"

One of the young lasses at the bar informed us that there is a "Schooner club"! Although she didn't get our jokes, she was able to tell us that the schooner club costs $10 and for this you will get $4.50 local schooners, 20% off other tap beers, plus you'll go into the monthly draw for a $500 bar/bistro tab with and extra $200 cash bonus if you're present on the night of the draw!

The Food

Some good food on offer at the QVH with a two page menu plus an extra menu for the kids. Some of the food on offer includes schnitzel, burgers, pizza, risotto, share plates, salads, even dessert. You'll also find a some good vegetarian options like a pizza, 2 different burgers, nachos, risotto, chips and salad. Sorry, vegans, you're shit outta luck.

After browsing over the multiple sections of food, each with a heading stating it was "something light" or "something simple" or something something, Burger Bot and I both decide on a burger, and there are a number of burger options to choose from. Char grilled vegie, sweet corn fritter, spicy chilli chicken, tandoori lamb, beef burger with the lot, roo burger and also a steak sandwich for good measure, all served with chips. Prices range from $14 to $17.

Burger Bot orders the Roo Burger - kangaroo fillet with roast tomato, caramelised onions, feta and rocket. 

In usual Burger Bot form, the machine wastes no time going to work. It was difficult holding him off for long enough to snap up photo evidence of the burger ever existing.

Burger Bot - "Boop boop beep boop. It's nice to have the Roo on the menu, extra points for this! The roo steak was perhaps slightly overcooked but still enjoyable overall. Roo. I'm happy. Beep boop!"

I opt for the Spicy Chilli Chicken - spicy chilli chicken with sweet potato, cheese, tomato, lettuce and aioli.

Good burger! Wrap your hands around these buns and get your gob in there! Delicious.

The right amount of chips complement both burgers sampled tonight, and good chips too! Burger Bot had licked the plate clean before I even had a chance to comment on the meals before us. All round good reviews of food consumed tonight and we would have no problem eating other items from the menu on another visit. Oh, and kids under 12 eat free with the purchase of a main! Score.

The Vibe/Something else

It's hard to put one label on the QVH as there are many facets, there really is something for everyone. Whether you're after a nice meal, a refreshing ale, a catch-up with ya mates, a punt on the horses and dogs (real and digital), a spot to watch the sport, or breakfast at the front bar (wtf?), this could be the place. All this said, sometimes less is more, and it's a little bit confusing here, and that's why this pub doesn't get a top score.

The jerk-factor is low, thankfully, and you will have no trouble finding an ATM, clean toilet, PINBALL MACHINE (Scared Stiff "oh no you hit the crate!" & Indiana Jones), pool table for some stick-ball and faux fire (aka drunk proof fireplace). Smoke machine also available if you are into stick-ball of the cancer stick kind. Heaps of room in gambling alley for all young and old.

We'd be more at home upstairs or in the courtyard for a beer, meal or hit of the stick-ball, but if you're into betting, sport or eating breakfast while watching Willy Wonka take off in his glass elevator, you're set there too!

Three and half rubber chickens. You'll find us back at the QVH some time in the future!

Burger Bot orders IGP, Level 1 Bar

QVH website:

Bistro Q, Queen Victoria Hotel on Urbanspoon

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