One of my favourite gastropubs in Melbourne is the Baden Powell Hotel, steeped in sporting and scout memorabilia, but also kicking goals in terms of its cuisine and ambience. My third visit to this iconic pub on Victoria Pde was so enjoyable as I settled in to sample the new Chef's traditional Italian pizza with his signature hand made dough. That's right, no machines or even a rolling pin.
The pizzas have always been great at Baden Powell Hotel but now even better as they stick to Italian methods of great dough and less but quality ingredients. The Gambari featured large tiger prawns and just the right amount of oil. Of course I added some hot chilli oil to the equation. A glass of Belgian Blonde guest tap beer was just the right thing for the pizza action.
Which brings me to the point - Baden Powell Hotel has an awesome beer, cider and wine list. The depth seems to have no end. Plenty of local and international beers to choose from and some lesser known but brilliant craft beers.
The ambience is chic at Baden Powell Hotel with the right tunes and fine service, and a step away from a "pub" like atmosphere. Groups of friends and couples embraced the new menu with enthusiasm.
After the pizza I was given the Half duck with figs, warm salad, and beetroot puree. Being alover of all things duck I engaged this dish with passion, delighting in the crispy skin, the generous portion of duck and the slightly pink meat inside. Not to mention the figs and beetroot that went so well as sweet accompaniment to the duck, as well as the crunch of lettuce and walnuts. A delight.
This is what I love - a departure from "pub" food and further embracing of gourmet. The daily specials here are excellent and there's always a top notch fish and steak option.
An Argentinian Malbec further showed the Hotel's diversity in wine and was superb with the duck. Or opt for some Italian Nebbiolo.
Having no room left I still enjoyed the rich dessert of ice cream sandwich of vanilla ice cream between chocolate along with chocolate and peanut sauce served in a bowl, and honeycomb. Indulgent.
All the while some cool tunes were playing in the background.
Baden Powell Hotel also offers classic and friendly service from knowledgeable staff.
This iconic hotel is well worth a visit...