Station Hotel

Posted on August 5, 2011

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On my estimation, there will be three things wrong with the next sentence, let’s see if you can spot them all. Station Hotel (59 Napier Street, Footscray VIC) is a fabulously hip pub with superb food right at the doorstep of the western suburbs. A hip pub, great food in a ‘hotel’ and all in FootscraZy (or is it FootSCARY?)?! Surely I jest? No, I do not, it’s just FOODScrazy! All just a few streets away from the shipping container hub that is Docklands.

You know you’re onto a good thing when you walk into a crowded local pub that’s alive with chatter. The vibe is friendly and the smiles across the faces young and old, hip and comfy say it all really. There was a fairly good slice of the varied demographic that call the westside home, so it has the tick of approval across a board range of punters.

If you can picture what an average inner suburban pub will look like, Station Hotel will pretty much fit the bill. The interior though is fairly fresh and is divided into the general bar/bistro area and the restaurant. The restaurant side has a lovely wallpaper treatment and windows looking out to the Maribyrnong council offices. Those lucky civil servants, what a great watering hole to have across the road from work!

The night we visited, it took an hour to find a free table at the bistro. And forget about the restaurant if you haven’t prebooked. Not that I’m complaining too much, the $4.50 pots of Kelly Brothers cider, the live footy game on tv and people watching were keeping me busy. Time went by surprisingly quickly, and once seated we ordered and received our meals in no time.

The menu is the same for both the causal bistro and formal dining room. There’s a nice selection of European entrees and mains (chicken liver pate, crab bisque etc.), but that’s not what we were there for. For those in the know, the Station Hotel is one of the best steak houses in Melbourne, and that night was all about the beef. There were about 10 steaks to choose from, mostly from Victoria and some interstate and there was a fairly even mix of grain fed and grass fed varieties. Pricing of the steaks ranged from $28-$48, served with either a béarnaise or pepper sauce, salad and chunky chips.

We both opted for the grass fed Black Angus variety. I had the 200g ‘Bavette’ from NSW with béarnaise and my companion had the rather larger 500g Victorian rib eye on the bone with pepper sauce. We both requested medium steaks and medium it was delivered – perfectly pink in the middle. The sides and condiments also deserve praise; I’m sure just seeing the golden chunky chips will be enough to make your drool and believe me, they were every bit as good as they look.

But don’t just take my word for it, the Age writer probably said it best when he said this is “the pub you’d kill to call your local”. Ha, take that Melbourne! You can stop pitying those westsiders now.

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