Union Club Hotel
Not to be confused with the Union Hotel in Brunswick, the Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy is on a quiet street corner. Going inside it looks like it’s stuck in time, transporting you back to the 80’s.
It was a fine Sunday in Melbourne and I was hungry and hot. Wasting no time, I went to the bar and ordered a pint and their 400g king Island rib eye, with fries and salad, medium-rare. I’d visited chick-in the night before and still wanted some fried chicken, so I ordered a side of their southern fried chicken.
I took a seat upstairs and waited. The chicken came out, and it looked bleak. On tasting it was confirmed: dry, loosely crumbed and plain. The best part of the dish was the pickle that came with it.
The steak came out a gruelling 25 minutes later.
Finally it arrived, lack lusted and grey. This steak was bad, there is no beating around the bush. Maybe it was just my luck but the steak was well done and grey with any flavour cooked out of it and no sign of seasoning.
It was pan grilled, and the taste and look suggesting the heat was too low during cooking.
Overall a below average food experience which was met with agreement around the table on everyone’s various dishes.
How well it’s cooked – 3.3
Flavour – 3.7
Tenderness – 4.8
Overall – 4.0
Peacock Inn Hotel
My original review for the Peacock Hotel was meant to be a while ago, however due to bad timing (their kitchen closes between 3 and 6) I went elsewhere.
I finally made it back and from memory the menu had not changed at all.
I walked up to the bar and ordered the 400g grass fed rib eye, cooked to a medium rare with their mushroom sauce, pink peppercorn butter and the gravy all on the side. It was served with hand cut chips and salad; standard pub offerings in my opinion.
After a 25 minute wait it arrived and my first observation was the “hand cut chips” were planks.
I started with one of those and it wasn’t great, not crunchy on the outside and not cooked fully on the inside. I would have definitely preferred normal chips to these.
I started with the steak next. It began around a medium well, and went down towards a medium in the middle. It was grainy due to the overcooking, and had lost a fair amount of tenderness that a rib eye should carry.
Both the gravy and mushroom sauce were average and slightly flavourless; it tasted like a gravox packet mix if I’m being honest. The butter however was nice, melted over the steak it created a somewhat enjoyable flavor, and was probably the only reason I finished it. It was charred, seasoned well, with added butter creating a slightly fatty and to some extent a beefy flavour.
How well it’s cooked ( laughable) – 4.5
Flavour ( Butter is better) – 6.5
Tenderness ( below average) – 4
Overall – 5