The Middle Park Hotel

The Middle Park Hotel, restaurant, Middle Park, Melbourne.
The Middle Park Hotel, restaurant, Middle Park, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied

102 Canterbury Rd Middle Park, VIC 3206

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Opening hours Mon-Sat 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM, Sun 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Features Outdoor seating, Private dining, Bar, Breakfast-brunch, Wheelchair access, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Late night, Family friendly, Views, Open fire, Licensed, Romance-first date
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Stephen Burke & Darren Mercaldi
Seats 80
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9690 1958

With a front bar sporting big screens, a multitude of craft beers on tap and a soft-lit dining room that makes the most of wood panelling reclaimed from the old MCG Long Room, there's no doubting the MPH is in touch with its masculine side. A menu that takes in best-of-British grub and nose-to-tail eating continues the theme but it's all done with style. Crisp scotch eggs, served with a dangerously hot mustard aioli, might start proceedings, to be followed, perhaps, by barbecued fish of the day or something from the list of organic and rare-breed steaks (available to preview, if that's your thing). A 300g grass-fed Gippsland sirloin is rich and earthy, balanced by a subtle red wine jus and pine mushrooms. Braised lentils with cotechino and tongue might lack a bit of spark, and desserts such as baked cherry tart don't re-invent the wheel. But we turn to pubs for comfort, not surprises, and on that front, it delivers.