O’Connell’s Hotel, South Melbourne
We were treated to a fine lunch with work partners over at O’Connell’s Hotel. The South Melbourne restaurant provides a surprisingly cosy setting with top notch serve and well prepared cuisine. From the outside it looks like your typical gastropub affair but inside the menu and decor confirm it’s a decadent and high quality experience. We all enjoyed our cuisine on this afternoon and O’Connell’s Hotel makes for a great choice for an extended lunch venue.
Only a short stroll from the office, the restaurant portion of O’Connell’s is extensive and busy. On this Friday afternoon most of the tables had diners and staff and kitchen were all in order over the course of our service. We shared a number of the appetisers across the table, including the Coffin Bay Oysters ($20), Arancini ($10) and Cauliflower fritters ($10). As we were a large group, the duration of the meal hinged on the long-side but these snacks had us content for a while. All items were well presented and most importantly, tasty.
We went our seperate ways for the main course, with one of the most popular (and arguable more successful) of the dishes being the confit Pork belly ($36). It’s served with an apple slaw, fragrant rice and a pork scratching. I didn’t try this one myself, but the guys rated it.
My dish was for the braised saltbush lamb ($36) with soft polenta, broccoli and braising juices. The meat was wonderfully tender but couldn’t help feeling there wasn’t quite the richness of flavour I was hoping for in the dish. All items were well presented and I still was happy with the dish by all means. We didn’t quite get to spend as long as we would have liked at O’Connell’s (i.e. the whole afternoon) but overall it was a well managed, high quality dining experience.