I have been eagerly following the development of this new space via facebook and twitter.
They call themselves the POH 229 Dining Hall. 229 being the street number on Sydney Road, Coburg.
During peak times at the POH, it’s near impossible to get a table in the pub area so we just never bother.
But that’s not important anymore. As they now have this beautiful stylish dining room where you can indulge in the same menu as the pub. Not only is this room stylish, it is big. And they take bookings so no excuse to miss out.
I normally give new places a few weeks to establish themselves but I couldn’t wait to see and try out this new space. If there is a lesson on how to use social media, this is it. Keep posting teasers and photos and people will come.
There are what seem to be two entrances. The reception area of the entrance we choose looks unfinished and probably is. It has the appearance of a space that it may turn into a small bar. As we walk further in, I immediately recognise the impressive brick fireplace from a photo on their facebook page. Unfortunately, it is not lit on this particularly cold evening but husband Dean says it probably has to “cure.” It’s at one end of the huge room so you would miss it if you came through the other entrance – a shame really.
There are a lot of staff, perhaps because it is opening weekend. Whatever the reason, the result is very attentive service. As the evening wears on, more and more people wander in. Us being early birds, I can only imagine that it gets even busier after we leave.
The kitchen is open plan. Organised chaos ensues as everyone is working very hard and fast preparing food for the pub and dining hall customers. It’s fun to watch. You can get right up to the action if you choose to dine at literally “the kitchen counter.”
They are all wearing black t-shirts with white numbers 3058 written on them. 3058 is the postcode. I like how they theme the name of their space and clothing around the address. Clever.
High above in the kitchen area housed in a glass window hang an array of cured meats. So it’s disappointing there is no charcuterie board on the menu. Nor is there a cheese platter. It really is the type of place that begs both.
So we start with duck liver-spiced rum pate with grilled flatbread. Delicious and a very generous serving. The three of us devour the warm bread. It’s followed by a kid’s parma, chips and salad – it’s only $10 but we compare it to the adult serving and the only difference seems to be the size of the plate! Great value and a thick piece of juicy chicken too. I have fish of the day which is served on a citrus salad with hommous, mint, red onion, chick peas, fennel and dill. Dean chooses the pizza special – spiked chicken, haloumi and chives. All very nice indeed. We manage to leave enough room to progress to phase three. Harvey has the kid’s ice cream (again it’s really an adult serving). “You can see the vanilla beans!” he exclaims. We can’t finish it – it’s house made and so rich it feels like you are eating pure cream. Finally, Dean and I share the sticky pecan-date tarte tartin with cinnamon ice-cream. Presentation is not the best and it’s a bit too sweet for me but that doesn’t stop us from polishing off the plate!
So now the Post Office Hotel has three totally different dining experiences. The restaurant out the back, the pub out the front and the dining hall next door. For a contrasting take on the place, the dining hall also serves breakfast till mid afternoon.
This postman can definitely ring us more than twice!