Pub of the Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Doutta Galla Hotel, Flemington
The Doutta Galla.
Pub: Doutta Galla Hotel
Where: 339 Racecourse Rd., Flemington
Phone: 9376 7233
Date: 12 June 2015
The Doutta Galla Hotel (DGH) has seen many changes over its long journey being both a “bloodhouse” and weirdly eclectic (Sydney Liars/Geebung Polo) watering hole prior to its current life, which, curiously, is a normal, straight up and down pub that does a good line in food and drink.
The DGH is a 3 storied Victorian, casting a large shadow over Racecourse Road near Newmarket station. Without pushing too many boundaries, it has created a welcoming vibe and has become very popular in the inner West.
High ceiling, big drapes/venetians, lowly lit, the mood is always disconcerting late evening. The action takes place over 2 very large street level areas, the bar and exposed kitchen are the features here.
Entertainment is set away separately, with big lounges and leather seating available. The can-do attitude is here, and the offer of food/drink/attractions doesn’t represent a reinvention of the wheel, more a reinforcement.
Food is good pub grub, and in keeping with a trend, you can ‘build your burger’ and spend up to $30 if you wish. More below.
Draught beer is good and the right mix of craft (including the increasing requested Blue Moon) and commercial is offered.
Day or night, the DGH continues to provide a pleasant place of comfort and surely that’s the charter of every pub.
PRICE: dining room menu
Entrees: $10 (limited)
When a pub does a nice steady-as she-goes trade, it is hard to think and that any commentary is a little too clever by half and damning with faint praise.
The DGH does the basics well, the offer is generous and the feel of the place is safe (although 25-30 years ago, it had a fearsome reputation).
Kitsch such as “tossing the barman for a drink, Fridays 6-8pm – ladies only” is basically an offer for a free one for the girls. The pub does suburban stuff like that all during the week and draws a crowd that wants to go to a pub to meet and greet, socialise and have an uncomplicated time.
Live music/Dj ( complete with this excellent noise extractor on the ceiling over the dancefloor if you want to talk and hear each other) steak night, lunch deals are all part of the fabric in this beautiful old world pub.
Food is good pub grub, priced right and covers all bases around the low-mid $20s for a main. But in keeping with a trend, it promotes the “Doot” Burger, where, starting at $17.90, comprising pattie of wagyu, tomato, lettuce, relish aioli, and you build from there. (Chicken fillet also).
So by my calculations, a triple burger (23.9) add 50 cents for eggs, cheese, guacamole, beetroot, bacon, pineapple, caramelised onion and you have a $27 burger, feeding at least 2, that will test the heartiest of palates.
Chicken Parma is 23.9, Fish and Chips $22.9, and some nice specials fill out the menu.
Wine is set out on a blackboard, does not go to a join the dots list and is fairly priced.
But the pub itself is a thing of beauty. Big ceilings, spacious, good dark look, and perhaps captures the elusive genie of satisfying all ages.
The DGH is a solid pub citizen.
- Chicken ribs (7), fried golden, Jack Daniels sauce – $11.9. Good start, meaty, hot with a different take on standard BBQ sauce. Absolutely no faults,
- Oven roasted Pork cutlet, mushroom masala sauce, cress, apple, sugar snap salad. $26.9. Good sized cutlet and cooked perfectly, (don’t like practice of laying meat on top of spud though) but salad was fresh and tasty. This was a good pub meal,
- Porterhouse 300g, Chips/salad, Hot English – $28.9. Again another nice pub meal, and fully plated with a fresh salad and stock standard chips. Good eating, right pub price,
- Are You Game Shiraz – $38/bottle. Easy drinking red from Strathbogies. Sampled before, extremely reliable.
In an area that most tastes are catered for, including Abyssinian, the DGH holds its own simply with a friendly, uncomplicated offer.
Love the idea of building your own burger, but the pub menu, drink and good times are delivered in such a manner that the appeal is broad and these days, as long as you are selling, then the the demographic is irrelevant. To my eye, I think the pricing is pretty much bang on.
It’s old world charm, dimly lit, heavy drapes, wood and leather everywhere.
And above all, popular. Good pub.