The Victoria Hotel Footscray has reopened after a transformation from the down-at-heel Harts Hotel.
Much of the dark wood and brick interior has been retained, albeit spruced up a lot. Inside there’s booth seating for groups, smaller tables in the dining room and a small airy internal beer garden.
The menu includes classic pub meals as well as some more adventurous fare.
From the small plates we try the chicken hearts with endive, fig and hazelnuts, the steak tartare and mussels.
The chicken hearts ($14) are not very palatable on their own and are much improved in the same forkful as some fig and endive. The texture of the heart is exactly as you’d imagine too – it’s like eating a small muscle/chewy mussel. It’s an interesting dish without being something I’d be returning for.
The steak tartare is a pretty rendition of the classic and highlights the quality of the meat ($16). None of us can work out what ‘bulldog sauce’ is.
The mussels are the best bargain – the mussels are fresh and fleshy and at $15 bowl can easily be a light main meal.
From the main meals we order the schnitzel ($25) and fish and chips ($24). Both of the dishes are good without being spectacular and could do with some uplifting presentation beyond a plate of beige.
A big tick to their fries, which have their skin on and shaped like they’ve been cut from an actual potato.
The main meals are all around the $24-$28 mark and only steaks costs more.
Most people don’t go to the pub to eat dessert but in this case the sweets are our meal’s highlight (both $9).
The cinnamon waffle is fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, while the mango soft serve is addictively punchy.
The chocolate tofu mousse is rich and dense while the chocolate crumb and berries gives the mousse the perfect textural contrast. Share this one unless you want to fall into a food coma.
For families there is ample space for prams, numerous high chairs and a kids menu. The children’s menu includes a parma, battered fish and nuggets, all served with salad and chips, plus spaghetti with meatballs ($10). But given there are lots of dishes which are small and shareable it’s a good opportunity to expand their palates beyond the beige.
The Victoria Hotel is an affordable family-focused local boozer that the west already loves – but be aware that the staff are still finding their feet. There is only two till points for four sides of the bar, making the wait for ordering food and drinks longer than desired during busy periods. Also drink orders seemed to be prioritised over taking kitchen orders, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to feed hungry children asap.
- pram access;
- small courtyard
- high chairs;
- children’s menu;
- standard menu suitable for kids;
- change table;
- free parking in nearby streets;
- walking distance from Middle Footscray station.
Victoria Hotel, 43 Victoria Street, Footscray (03) 8320 0315