Dinner at Iconic Middle Park Hotel
The Middle Park Hotel is a local hero with serious dining options, and has gone to another level since being renovated during lockdown. We were invited to wine and dine and experience the dining room (also a large bar, outside area and boutique hotel) offerings at iconic Middle Park Hotel. When people in Melbourne are asked to list their favourite pubs, it seems Middle Park Hotel often comes to the fore in the conversation.
Since our last visit we noticed the dining room has become more expansive with a wall taken out and two large dining areas. Modern and inviting and building on its heritage features, the Middle Park Hotel dining experience is top notch in terms of service, menu featuring top producers, wine list and ambience. This is several steps up from what you may think as a "pub meal" offering a certain refinement for the well heeled locals, while still being approachable.
Rangers Valley Brisket croquettes hit the mark.
For starters we elected to order the Rangers Valley Brisket Croquettes, and found this to be a generous starter with four perfectly crunchy croquettes and delicious brisket filling. A generous starter and almost a meal in itself. With the meat choices we were making it was appropriate to go with the staff recommendation of Hentley Farm "Villian and Vixen" Shiraz (Barossa Shiraz at its finest). The wait staff allowed us to taste a couple of wines before our final choice.
O'Connors Porterhouse was steak heaven, and came with garden salad and small bowl of fries.
Impressive Garden salad.
Cape Grim Rump melt in your mouth steak goodness.
We were attracted to the Grass Fed Beef section of the menu, being avid steak lovers. The Middle Park Hotel specialises in much more than steak, but they certainly shine in this arena. Cape Grim Beef and O'Connors Porterhouse being on the menu was a no-brainer, although other spectacular producers and regions were also compelling such as Robin Island Scotch Fillet and Rangers Valley Bavette.
We decided to order the Cape Grim Beef 400g Rump as well as the O'Connors 300g Porterhouse. Both excelled as perfectly cooked and with sexy sear marks. The steaks came with chips and garden salad so you almost didn't need to order sides, although the potato mash and bone marrow caught the eye. For some reason we also ordered another Garden Salad, and I have to say this was wonderfully fresh and zesty, with addictive slices of pickled onion in the mix.
The Hentley Farm Shiraz was powerful yet elegant and smooth, perfect with the steak. Service was engaging and helpful, and a pleasure. Highly recommended.