MELBOURNE | Amphlett House is one of several hotel restaurants that have opened in Melbourne this year, aiming to challenge preconceptions about what a hotel restaurant can be. Part of the Ovolo Laneways hotel, Amphlett House occupies the space formerly home of Mrs. Parmas. The decor’s been refreshed and the space brightened up, but it’s not too different to what it was.
This isn’t a bad thing, as it works into what the venue is aiming to sell itself is, a gastropub of sorts, with an offering that’s rooted in the classics, but modern, exciting, and Australian. 1980s is the theme here, with the decor, and of course the name itself, nodding to the era.
The food menu has been developed by executive chef Ian Curley and head chef Ben Green, while the drinks offering has been put together by drinks maestro Andrea Gualdi. Curley and Green both have British heritage, and they lean into that at Amphlett House.
There’s top notch steaks, and a fantastic fish and chips on the menu, but there’s a lot more to things than that. I was particularly taken by the use of offal on the menu. Ox tongue with pickled red cabbage and horseradish cream is a must order from the entrée section of the menu, while seared beef heart with lentils and creamed spinach is a must order main. Bone marrow toast shows promise, although oddly, it doesn’t really showcase the marrow, or come topped with the bone.
Just like any good pub, the menu features a solid selection of snacks that pair well with drinks. Do try the puffed beef cheeks, served with chilli salt and malt vinegar. Lamb shoulder croquettes with smoked salt and aioli; and duck liver parfait with goats cheese and warm brioche are both winners. For something sweet, the espresso martini tiramisu, and fresh baked madeleines with chocolate sauce both hit the spot.
On the drinks front, one thing that’s remained from Mrs. Parmas is a tap and packaged beer list that’s filled with local and independent craft brews and a range of styles. There’s also a surprisingly extensive wine and spirit list. For cocktails, it’s highballs and Australian takes on the classics. The Eucalyptus smoked margarita, a blend of Australian agave spirit, eucalyptus, agave, and lime, is fantastic.
19-25 Little Bourke Street
Telephone: (03) 8692 0780
E-mail: [email protected]
Mon – Thu: 11:30am to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30pm to 10:00pm
Sun: 3:30pm to 6:30pm