With Mr Lawrence, Matthew Thurley wanted some continuity with Port Melbourne’s history while at the same time doing something different for the area.
Ashley Richey (Chin Chin’s ex-head chef) is the man in charge of driving the food offering for the pub (which used to be The London). The menu doesn’t lean towards a specific cuisine, but does take a great deal of influence from the whole coastline of the Mediterranean.
The food borrows little snips from Morocco (eggplant, spinach and pea tagine), Spain (chorizo, peppers et al) and Turkey (lamb and harissa koftes) but also extends well beyond, offering classic pub dishes done well. Plates can be shared or eaten alone, and there’s a whole section of Turkish pizzas. Even at breakfast you’ll see some of the same Moorish themes sneaking through (it does a cracking Lebanese breakfast of hummus, eggs, falafel, labne and flatbread).
The Middle-Eastern-by-way-of-England vibe earned the pub its new name. Mr Lawrence, i.e. TE Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia.
Beyond the grub and its smart moniker, Mr Lawrence has one of Melbourne’s toughest views to beat. In the late afternoon, when the sun is setting and the brigade of cruise liners begin to dock, things get pretty special. All of this happens less than 100 metres away from your snug table nestled inside the pub’s front windows.
Mr Lawrence is now hiring. Find out more on Scout, Broadsheet's new employment website.