Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Cremorne Hotel
366 Pakington Street, Newtown.
When? January 31, 2020.
In a salubrious and urbane part of Geelong is a good ol’ old pub, the Cremorne, doing what most pubs without pretension should, with a comfortable mix of food, drink and hospitality.
There’s nothing here that would cause the good folk at Conde Naste to detour on their way to one of the Bellarine’s finest wineries . But the consistency of offer, starting with very good pot from the tap, (Flying Brick, a local is available) to a reasonably priced meal, then the Cremorne fits the bill.
Neat looking from the exterior with an extended sprawling roof providing shelter and shade to the footpath, a lot is packed in. Lounge/restaurant at the front, big bar in the middle servicing the small TAB, and bistro at half a level below.below. A small beer garden was popular on a warm day.
Simply it is a good, clean, comfortable layout.
Appeal on every level as far as food and drink is concerned, the Cremorne is a fine local.
The menu is well thought out and embraces a wide range to choose from. Entrees may include Beef cheek and smoked cheddar croquettes brussel sprout mash up, romesco sauce ($16), or Corn and zucchini fritters nacho cashew cream, sesame crusted avocado, blackbean salsa, coriander, BBQ lime ( $16).. Pizza and Parmis (their spelling) are offered in a variety of forms, and the mains are the classics with some clever touches. The average prices are;
- Entrees – $15
- Mains – $25
- Dessert – $14
Very popular wine brands – Swan Bay/Scotchmans Hill, Catalina Sounds, Dal Zotto, make up a very fairly priced wine list, and a decent drop is available around $9pg//$40/bottle. Tried was;
- Steamed Bao buns (3) roast pork belly, cucumber, coriander, bean shoot salad, nahm jim . Big, really big baos, with a spicy tasty filling of pork, nice starter,
- Local Gummy Shark, $28. Chips Salad Tartare. Not bad. . While 2 thin fillets are served, my preference is for a single thick tile of flake, to allow the fish, rather than than the batter to dominate. Nonetheless, it was fine,
- Greek salt and pepper calamari, grilled pita, leaves, watermelon, olives, red onion, crumbled feta, mint, yoghurt, ouzo dressing $28. Good dish of calamari, the grilled pita a neat extra.
The Cremorne was not the intended (Sawyers Arms was but closed on the Australia Day holiday) pub, but easy to see why the pub is such a favorite amongst locals.
Notwithstanding the influence of BIlly Brownless, whose involvement in pub management is more extensive than you may think (patronage not at issue), the right attitude by the staff wins you from the get go.
Steady as she goes and I like it.