Spottiswoode

Posted on August 16, 2013

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If I’m being completely predictable on a Sunday, you will most likely to find me seated at some cafe in an inner Melbourne suburb sippin’ on a latte ready to order my brunch. But as much as I enjoy cafe hopping, it can feel a little same-same after a while. Most brunch menus tend to feature the same dishes, and really, there’s not all that much variation from the one cafe to the next. If I’m sound like I’m due for a break from cafe brunching, I am. You know what they say; absence makes the stomach growl louder..? I might have completely made that up, but in any case, I’m sure time away from brunching will make me miss the smell of coffee and eggs soon enough.

Without my usual routine, I was a bit lost the morning of the Sunday past. Having woken up far too late to eat breakfast, I decided to wait until lunchtime to eat a proper meal. With about an hour or so to kill, I went online searching for a non-cafe lunch venue and there I found Spottiswoode (62 Hudson Road, Spotswood VIC). The cute sounding Spottiswoode is also known as The Spotswood Hotel; it is situated on a corner opposite the Spotswood train station and on the Sunday we visited, this suburban pub was thriving with activity.

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This old pub was built in the 1800’s, but by the 90s and first decade of the 2000s had suffered from both neglect and the stigma of being located in a suburb that nobody wanted to live in. Then came a revival of the Hudson Street shopping strip, and only last year, this little piece of history underwent a revamp to become a buzzing neighbourhood hub. The sprawling bar/bistro area was jam packed with young families and groups of friends catching up for a meal and/or a few drinks. The space is kind of separated into different sections, although this has been done without walls. While I appreciate the high lofty ceilings and openness of the space, it does create a lot of noise. The noise level isn’t helped by the large flat screen TVs they’ve got dotted around the place or the skill tester machines (although to be fair, the skill tester machines are tucked away to the far end and parents may welcome this distraction for their kids).

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The menu is what you’d expect of a pub, lots of bistro classics including the steak sandwich and chicken parma, and a few chef’s specials in the mix. I went for the steak sandwich with the lot ($16.50) while my dining companion ordered the Sunday roast special at a bargain $10.

The steak sandwich at the Spottiswoode is huge! And served with a side of expertly fried thick cut chips.

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Packed between 2 toasted buns was the obligatory piece of steak followed by slices of cheese, tomatoes, bacon, caramelised onions, mixed salad leaves, fried egg (I couldn’t completely give up on weekend eggs you see) and plenty of mayo. They weren’t exaggerating when they said this sandwich came with the lot! It’s a good thing I skipped breakfast and was ravenous by the time my meal arrived! It must be a mark of a good steak sandwich if you get it all over your face eating it – that’s my excuse anyway. Only complaint is that the steak was a touch overcooked, but seriously with all the yummy trimmings going with it, I just being a fusspot to notice that.

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The Sunday roast of the day was lamb. The serving was generous with gravy, 2 boiled potatoes and a colourful mix of steam veggies on the side. It’s nothing too fancy, but had a pleasing homely feel. The meat was tender and flavoursome. Really excellent value for $10.

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Overall we were very satisfied with our experience here. The service team was friendly and efficient. Our waiter had plenty of smiles to give was even happy to chat to us a bit about Spottiswoode’s revamp last year. Going by our sampled dishes, the meals here are generous and pretty tasty. Good venue for a relaxed meal out with family or friends if you don’t mind the lively atmosphere. And a nice change from the usual brunch/lunch establishments I’m known to frequent.

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