A traditional neighbourhood pub, popular with a mixed smartly-dressed crowd. The Carringbush Hotel is large with several areas, including both a dining and cosy public bar area. Some of the older patrons tend to stay to the one side, meaning that the younger ones roam around most of the public bar freely. There's a definite family-run old, wooden charm to the Carringbush, and the large food and wine selection is good indication that this pub takes its dining seriously. Function facilities exist as well, as does a large, private dining room.
Outdoor Area / Beer Garden
A small garden courtyard makes a splendid spot for a beer.
Last night we had the pleasure of dining at the Carringbush for the second time in 12 months. I was looking forward to our evening as I had enjoyed it so much last time. I love the feel of this hotel which feels so comfortable for us 40-somethings. We start off in the lounge with a few drinks at the high wood tables and stools, nothing modern and yuppy just that great place to have a drink thing. As we had a reservation we let the waiting staff know we were there and just like last time there was no watch tapping trying to push us off into the restaurant. The restaurant itself has a warm ambience with low lighting and terrific waiting staff adding to the friendly feel.
Once again the food was superb. We started with the salt and pepper calamari, the goats cheese and mussels. The calamari is probably the best I have had, it was cooked to perfection. I made the mistake of offering my companions some to see how good it was only to fend them of from stealing more. The same with the other two starters. For the mains two of us chose the Seared Chermoula Barramundi with asian greens and pilaf, one the steak and one duck A'Lorange (?) I must confess I was a bit scared to order duck after a couple of unsavoury dining experiences pardon the pun but my husband was not so feeble and happily reported it was delicious. The fish was was moist and perfectly cooked with light smoky flavours. Their steak is just amongst the best you have ever had. It speaks volumes that the food was of the same excellent standard months apart.
The two men who dined with us spend most of the year travelling all over Australia and the world and both commented it is one of the best places they have eaten for quality and consistency. As for me I will go and rave about it to friends just like last time.
Roslyn Devlin, Essendon, 04/08
Dining out in the city can be a daunting experience especially with a six and eight year old in toe, the Carringbush Hotel is a god send. From the outside it looks like any other pub but step through the doors and your greeted by friendly staff and a cosy relaxed atmosphere, the dining area while not large is in no way cramped with a choice of either dining room with table cloths regular table service or a great little red brick lined courtyard complete with last century advertising for gin and similar on the walls.
Night one we enjoyed a starter of salt and pepper squid ( a main course shared between 3) the squid generous in quantity and flavoured with chilli and lime dressing was divine almost needing a stick to fight the kids off from devouring more than there share. For our mains the kids enjoyed fish and chips the fish was a large fillet pearly white and moist in a light crispy batter with a very generous serve of salad the chips cooked golden brown in fresh oil "no old oily smells on these". My wife had chicken parmie again large in size and from the sounds of satisfaction very nice. While I had a large plate of penne pasta served with smoked salmon, sugar snap peas and capers all coming together in a light creamy sauce, the penne was cooked al dente the peas still slightly crispy if it wasn't bad form I would have licked the bowl clean.
Night two our six year old decided he would like a steak, at the Carringbush nothing seems like its to hard and the chef quiet happily cut a half serve porterhouse of approx 6oz, none of this stingy minute steak like some venues call a kids steak and from the six year old who I'm sure is 2/3rds carnivore "This steak is beautiful" and from the morsel I pinched tender and succulent with no need for a serrated steak knife to cut, again served with a generous portion of chips. The eight year old tried the chicken parmi again no problems getting a half serve, he has already asked if he can have the same thing again at some stage. My wife and I both tried the pork dish consisting of two pieces of fillet cooked to perfection served atop a mound of potato mash with pork jus and apple sauce with steamed vegetables. With the meals costing well under $60 each night even with the additional main course as an entree and no need to stop and buy a kebab or similar on the way back to our accommodation like so many other places needing you to do, I believe you can't go past the Carringbush Hotel for Quality and value.
The clientele were a mix of family, oldies and business suits with the locals happy to banter with one another and us and rave about the fact that in the cold weather the open fires ( yes more than one) make for a cosy warm haven on those cold wet nights Melbourne is so famous for.
From a Chef with twenty-eight years experience if I'm in Abbotsford again they will definitly see myself and the family again...
Jeffrey Walker, Nicholson, 02/08
On a quiet night (Monday), both the public bar and the bistro feel relaxed and cosy with a clientele that ranges from suits to retirees. The staff are friendly and the food great, but the winner for me is the exceptionally high ratio of open fires to drinkers over the winter!
Merryn, Caulfield, 07/04
Carringbush Hotel / Link to this page: https://www.partystar.com.au/venue/129/
2/430 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
1300 535 010