Tag Archives: Richmond

support the pub that supports you…

…by giving you a fantastic selection of craft beer!

The Royston Hotel is located in Richmond and is a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Mountain Goat Brewery, many of whose brews we’ve discussed on the blog aplenty, and imbibed even more.

It therefore made perfect sense to hold the second meeting of the Australian Beer Writers’ Guild at the Royston where we could not only have awesome local craft brews, but some damn fine pub grub too.

It was bloody freezing the night we went and I hit the stouts early under the notion that it would warm me up a little. On tap, was the delicious Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout (though if you wanted, they did also have longnecks of it in its Rare Breed incarnation, yum!).

As soon as we moved into the dining room, we pored over the menus and even more imbibing began – this time, mainly going with what was available in bottles. It wasn’t easy to choose what to have for dinner but I went with the braised lamb shanks with mash, barley and vegetable jus. Just perfect for the chilly winter’s night! The meat fell off the bone as it should have and it was a very generous serving. Indeed, I didn’t end up finishing my mash.

braised lamb shanks

To drink, I chose a Renaissance Stonecutters scotch ale – a brewery from across the waters in New Zealand. Haven’t had a bad drop from this lot once. Mmm. Really, really sorry about my crappy mobile phone pics – my phone had just enough charge to take bare minimum of photos required.

Renaissance scotch ale

The T-dawg ordered a very satisfying looking seafood claypot. It was humungous!

seafood claypot

Both him and I agonised over a good beer match with his dish – he eventually decided on a passable Emerson’s 1812 pilsner. Nothing to write home about, I’m told. Fellow guild member Jourdan supported this assessment, having drunk it on its homeland New Zealand.

Emerson 1812 pilsner

Personally, I wish the weather had been warmer so I could try out some of the ciders they had on offer. An excellent excuse for a repeat visit. The other diners went with the burger and the big-arse steaks on the menu. While the menu has many delectable options, I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn’t much in the way of vegetarian options that looked as equally delicious as the meat and seafood ones.

Then the ABWG got down to business, not before The Crafty Pint and probably Beer Blokes‘ Prof Pilsner managed to get us all a round of Stone and Wood’s draught ale with their beer gravitas. There was a glint in every punters’ eye at tasting the oh so familiar passionfruit note that the S&W draught ale is famous for! All Ale The Big V was indeed a most excellent secretary, reigning in us young roustabouts and unfurling the guild’s official logo.

The night finished with a blissful pot of Moo Brew’s stout for just about all of us. Well, when we could finally get Crafty and Prof out the door, those old timer beer folks do love a good natter. And rightfully so, as the staff are very sympathetic to the craft beer cause, and know quite a bit about it. It’s a wonderful pub and worth the trek even if you don’t live in the area.

Royston Hotel on Urbanspoon

what to do at Co Do

It came time to herd the pho-loving crew to Victoria Street in Melbourne. Given that there are no shortage of places, I suggested we try another place aside from our beloved Pho Chu The – Co Do, seeing as they were at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival hawkers’ market. I didn’t get to sample their wares then and had promised myself I’d visit the restaurant instead.

action shot!

Pho club regular @techydude wasted no time in showing us how things were done once we all arrived and ordered. He got one of those cool beverages that actually reminded me of something I’d seen at Malaysian restaurant Coconut House. An amused @adnrw laughs on.

Tris and I got smoothies – he got an avocado one, and I got a jackfruit one! I love jackfruit and used to eat it in ice cream in the Philippines. Delish.

avocado smoothie

jackfruit smootie

Cam was kind enough to let me snap a photo of his pho choice (not before showing off his wonderful iPhone 4…grrr…). He had the braised beef pho.

braised beef pho

Which incidentally, we were told by the waiter, is exactly the same as the beef and beef brisket pho Tristan had?!?! They do look remarkably similar…hmm. So why they are listed as different items on the menu is beyond me if even the staff think it’s the same thing.

beef & beef brisket pho

I went all crazy Azn and got the pho bo ga dac biet (special beef and chicken combination rice noodle soup). It had sliced beef, sliced chicken, chicken and beef offal, and a gorgeous peppery beef sausage. Oddly enough, I only left my beef and chicken liver and ate most of that which I did not recognise. This pho kicked major arse in the meat and offal department, but sadly the broth was not quite as flavoursome and tasty as some I’ve had. Billy, bring on the congealed blood!

pho bo ga dac biet (special beef and chicken combination rice noodle soup)

However, it’s definitely worthy of a repeat visit and the menu is huge, containing many non-pho options. At around $10 a bowl, it’s not going to break the bank either. Thanks to all who made it to this round of pho club and stay tuned for the next one.¬†Just make sure you skilfully avoid the junkies on your way out of the shop.¬†Alas, T and I missed out on post-pho beers with the gang because we had to dash across town to Biero Bar and quaff some Mikkellers. It’s a hard life! .

Co Do on Urbanspoon

pho club’s second meeting

A good mate of mine, Rich, said he works opposite a great pho place and said a few of us should go for dinner one day. Unbeknownst to me, he meant one I’d been to before. Pho Chu The Bo Ga is always packed. If you want to eat there, then this is something you will need to bear in mind when you arrive. The stream of diners coming and going is pretty constant so don’t be put off if you need to wait.

Because I didn’t dip my tripe in hoisin as recommended by Vietnamese cuisine aficionado Billy on my previous pho outing, I went the special beef pho. It has tripe, sliced beef and beef balls. Normally beef or fish balls taste a bit…dodgy, but the ones in this were freaking delicious.

special beef pho

Tris went the sliced beef and beef brisket. Sorry about the blurry photo. The beef is always thinly sliced and tender.

beef and beef brisket pho

Everyone who went to the inaugural phoTUB was here, plus Rich. Most of them went for plain beef pho. The service here is great – fast, always super-friendly and efficient. Rich actually told us that he calls them up to order and they bring him his pho across the road. When he finishes, he takes the bowls back and pays. How is that for takeaway?

It was great to go again.

Chu The Pho Bo Ga on Urbanspoon