The North Melbourne Hotel
Sandra and Jose De Oliveira, long-time publicans and restaurateurs (Bridge Road’s Bouzy Rouge) are behind North Melbourne Hotel.
The multi-room pub is dressed in the maximalist aesthetic of their interior designer, Jean-Pierre Heurteau. A large marble table forms the centre of the front bar, and there are smaller marble tables and a French-style concrete garden setting in the rear. The trimmings are all retro-euro: black-glass chandeliers; abundant candelabra; cement lions and Romanesque statuary; an enormous brass angel.
The foremost aim of the North Melbourne Hotel’s food and booze offering is affordability. Spanish, French, Portuguese and Australian wines all come in at around $5 to $7, and three taps pour Carlton Draught, Estrella and Moondog’s Old Mate Pale.
Like Bouzy, the menu is European with a Spanish skew: seafood paella served in the pan; fish of the day with chermoula, cous-cous and preserved-lemon stew; house-made linguine marinara; and Portuguese-style minute steak served with chips, jamon and an egg. For special occasions, a whole suckling pig, slow-cooked goat and 12-hour smoked-beef brisket are available on pre-order.