Hyde Street Hotel, 188 Hyde St, Yarraville. Phone: 9689 2163
As Victoria On Hyde and in our now many years in Yarraville, we’ve had close to no use for these premises.
Sure, an occasional quick-stop for beer and/or wine … but the only time I ever stuck my head inside the pub proper, I promptly fled.
Now, though, oh boy!
The place has been re-branded as The Hyde Street Hotel and given a radical makeover – and we’re very happy to be taking it for a whirl on Easter Eve, about a week after it has opened.
There’s a rather spartan public bar where a limited choice of menu items is available at significantly lowers prices than in the dining room.
There’s a couple of cruisey lounge areas.
And there’s the dining room itself – airy, bright and attractive. It almost has an outdoor feel about.
It has booths, widely separated tables and lots of room.
The menu starters are in the $10 to $20 range and display the most diversity of the kitchen’s output, with influences from Asia and the Middle East.
From there the menu diverts to regular pub fare, including “classics”, mains including roasted lamb rump and “bbq’d” kangaroo loin, pizzas and steaks – including a kilogram rib eye for two at $75.
Overall, the prices seem less than at the Mona Castle and more in line with the Plough.
We are served well by young staff dressed uniformly in hipster black and our meals arrive promptly, the wait time spent checking the place out and frankly ogling with much interest the plates bound for the tables of other families and groups.
We go for a couple of the classics.
My fish and chips ($26) hit the spot.
The salad is a fine thing for this kind of food in this kind of place – fresh greens and some finely cut cucumber, radish and red onion, all well dressed.
The fish is three medium-size pieces of rockling that are sweetish, delicate and add up to a good feed.
Plate aesthetics have dictated the fish is placed atop my chips, so some of the latter are spoiled by oil seep – but the rest are hot, crisp and hastily consumed.
By contrast, I feel a little sorry for Bennie in regards to his choice of the wagyu beef burger ($24), which comes with the same chips.
It appears to be a good, unfussy burger but it simply doesn’t seem to provide him much of a dinner experience.
It’s gone in about two minutes and is a messy handful.
It has good melted cheese, some greenery, sauce and mayo, caramelised onions and that’s about it.
No bacon; just sayin’ …
But brevity of eating has, in this case, no bearing on quality.
As we walk home, Bennie spends the first block or so expounding with passion and enthusiasm on his burger … the deliciousness of the meat, the “crisp on the outside and soft inside” chargrilled bun, the whole deal.
To the point of saying bacon may have been of nuisance value only.
“Next time, you’ve just gotta try it, dad!” he proclaims.
An obvious winner …