Slow cooking has become all the rage in the last few years, and for good reason. But the Royal Standard Hotel in West Melbourne takes it even further, and not in a good way, adding dreadfully slow service into the mix.
The Royal Standard is an OK pub, with OK pub food, but that’s about it.
The night we went, the restaurant was booked for a blues guitar workshop – it seems to double as their function room, and is booked for that purpose fairly often.
It’s OK, I was assured, you can eat in the bar area and the only difference is that the chairs and tables aren’t as nice. No worries there, then.
However, with the restaurant area booked out, the hotel appeared to have given the restaurant staff the night off as well, leaving the barman to both run the bar and deal with the food orders. Not an ideal situation, as he was quite happy to do his usual bartendery things – wiping the bar, cleaning glasses, talking to bar patrons – when not busy serving, rather than look after the diners.
The starters (garlic bread) was good, although a bit TOO garlicky, with the chunks of garlic in the cheese. Nicely plated, though, and still good despite the heavy handedness.
I had the Grain fed Yearling T-Bone Steak with mushroom sauce, wedges & salad for mains, and it was clearly not medium-rare, but somewhat more cooked than that, and not a great piece of meat to start with.
Good wedges and mushroom sauce, and the salad would have been good if not for excessive amounts of the balsamic dressing.
Cha had the Veal Limone – tender medallions in a creamy lemon sauce. Served on a creamy mash with sautéed baby spinach which also came with a salad. It was interesting, but the citrus dressing was VERY strong, and the veal was, again, overcooked. (And yes, I tried several shots of it, but it just wasn’t a terribly well plated dish to begin with.)
It’s hard to muck up dessert, and these were fine – Cheesecake and ice cream and Chocolate Sauced Sponge Pudding and cream.
TLDR: It’s good value for money, and as long as you don’t expect much finesse, you’ll be fine.