Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Napier Hotel - Fitzroy review

Righto, whilst the whole concept of someone having never eaten at the Napier is as incomprehensible to me as Tony Abbott winning Miss Universe, apparently it is the case - the former, not the latter. Although anything seems possible to me now. Good luck Tony!

Tucked on the corner of Napier and Moor streets, the Napier is a Fitzroy institution. Just one of the many backstreet Fitzroy pubs that make this suburb such an appealing location to sink some suds, the Napier is very much the bar-setter when it comes to imaginative pub food. The front bar is adorned with Fitzroy Lions paraphernalia, the bar is well-stocked with 10 beers on tap, and there are two large indoor dining spaces, to go with the tidy beer garden and street front seating. Basically, what you want, they've got.

The menu is constantly rotating, which adds a little excitement to each return visit as you never quite know what you're going to get. It seems the the cooks are perennially looking at ways to innovate with the menu, however there are some staples that always remain. Most notably, the infamous 'Bogan Burger'. Weighing in at 7000 kilojoules, the burger consists of a steak, chicken schnitzel, potato cake, bacon, egg, cheese, onion, pineapple and beetroot, with a generous serve of shoestring fries and coleslaw on the side. Not an ideal meal for a vego, but I'm still always in awe of this offering. From the vego perspective, there is always at least one burger on offer. Over the years these rotations have included the 'tofu sanga', the lentil and chickpea special, cous cous and haloumi, cannellini  beans and haloumi...and various others for which my memory escapes me. Basically, every few months there is a new concoction on offer, always worth a go. At present, it is a spicy green lentil burger with pickled zuchini, avocado, and aioli, served with the standard fries and coleslaw. It is a burger that WILL NOT disappoint you. Other options are the black-eyed bean dhal served with house-made roti and salad (another winner, from previous experience), and at least one option from the specials board. Nothing will set you back more than $20, the serves are incredibly generous, and on a lazy summer evening you may find yourself sampling most - if not all - of the impressively diverse range of brews on tap. A favourite haunt, and comes with the highest recommendation.

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