Steampacket Hotel

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13 Cole St, Williamstown. Phone 9399 9600

I was in it for the company – which was all to the good, as I’m hardly enamoured with pub food.

Especially after our recent disappointment at the Ashley.

Our most local “local”?

Yikes!

But this was a fun night out – $12 steaks and free entry into that night’s trivia quiz.

My three dining partners – Deb from Bear Head Soup, her bloke Dave and Ms Baklover/Lauren from Footscray Food Blog – had heaps of good things, mind you, to say about the Station Hotel in Footscray.

And between the four of us we fancied we had enough all-round general knowledge – and few areas of arcane expertise up our sleeves – to put in a good showing in the trivia.

My previous visit to the Steampacket had been about five or so years before – to see my mate Ashley and his pals from the Louisiana Shakers pounding out some of their old-style New Orleans jazz.

Like so many pubs in the west, it has undergone change – although not so much as to completely ruin the place.

And there are no pokies!


The place was packed on Thursday’s steak/trivia night – and therein lies the biggest criticism we had.

The noise level was very, very high.

For most of the night it seemed to be at almost rock concert levels, forcing tablemates to shout instead of converse.

Indeed, such was the racket that we – cocooned in the pub’s dining room – were utterly unaware there had been a no doubt loud and raucous thunderstorm outside until I split for a few minutes to move my potentially ticket-attracting car.

The Steampacket boasts an inviting menu and a blackboard of specials at the rear of the dining room. It covers a broad range of steaks, seafood, pastas, salads, burgers, parmas and so on. If I return with Bennie in tow, it’ll likely be for the $11.90 main meal specials that are served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6pm – see poster below for that week’s line-up.

But as pre-trivia repast, our entire table ordered the same meal – medium rare porterhouse. There are other, more pricey cuts available as part of the Thursday night deal, but none over $20.

We were all pleased with our meals – they did what was expected, if without sending us into raptures.

Steaks of a decent size and little on the chewy side. Yeah, yeah, I know – what did we expect for $12?

My chips were on the flabby side, and I could’ve done with more of them, and the salad bits and pieces were a tad straggly.

But the onion gravy I asked to be served on the side came in a little bowl, and was sweet and delicious for dipping into it every forkful of beef.

Yes, tartare sauce does float in beer.

The trivia was something else.

Bracing ourselves to be quizzed on all sorts of wide-ranging topics, we were instead assailed with probing queries on what amounted to little more than bogan pop culture.

We even had to take a punt on one of five entrants in a pot-skulling contest. We got that one right.

Still, we far from disgraced ourselves – or should that be the other way round, given that we did quite well and considering the general nature of the questions?

Dave stepped up with a few sports answers, and I opined – correctly – that if Winston Churchill had a third nipple I’d have known about it.

In the “sink or swim” section, and basing our answer on the fact that oil floats, we correctly guessed that tartare sauce would float in beer.

The trivia guy proved it – and then got a punter to skull the result. Heck, I don’t think he got any points for his for his brave efforts, either!

But mostly it was a matter of movies, TV programs, pop music and celebs that I’d barely heard of, let alone seen or heard.

When I returned the next day to take some pics, the staff said the previous night’s line of questioning should not necessarily to be taken as normal, and that the trivia quiz differed from week to week.

The Steampacket Hotel website is here.

Steam Packet Hotel on Urbanspoon

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