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An Ex-Supernormal Chef Leads the Kitchen at the Newly Revamped Hotel South Melbourne

The owners of Golden Hills Brewery have transformed a 169-year-old corner pub into a bright, modern haunt — complete with their own beers starring on tap.
By Libby Curran
February 27, 2023
By Libby Curran
February 27, 2023

Melbourne loves a good pub revamp and the latest is a doozy, breathing new life into a sunny corner site in the heart of South Melbourne. In the 169-year-old building formerly home to The Market Hotel and The Star Hotel, Tyson and Ashleigh Chambers (Melbourne Food and Brew, Golden Hills Brewery) have unveiled their latest project, known as Hotel South Melbourne.

In its previous lives, the Clarendon Street boozer played host to music legends like AC/DC and Nick Cave. Now, it's jumping into a new phase of existence complete with a refreshed fitout and a renewed gastropub focus.

It's a breezy, light-filled affair with lofty ceilings throughout, a spacious front bar, sunny beer garden and 120-seat dining room. Stripping out the tired interiors of yesteryear, the owners have infused the space with more modern charms, playing warm timber and exposed brick against considered pops of colour and a splash of terrazzo.

There's sport on the screens, the Chambers' own signature brews on tap, and a variety of private spaces for gatherings of all sizes and occasions.

Hotel South Melbourne's multi-faceted culinary offering comes courtesy of chef Lewis Bryce (Supernormal), celebrating elevated pub classics with a modern Australian edge. Here, the public bar is your go-to for a casual feed, slinging small plates, steaks, burgers and other favourites alongside a range of pizzas — think hot salami and prosciutto with pickled chilli and honey, or perhaps the oozy potato, brie and artichoke number.

Meanwhile, the pub's main restaurant steps things up a gear, beginning with snacky options like beef tartare, cacio e pepe croquettes and grilled scallops with preserved lemon butter. Slow-cooked lamb shoulder is matched with marinated eggplant, saltbush and a romesco sauce; garlicky linguine marries spanner crab and clams; and a half roast chicken is done with miso butter, leek and crispy skin.

The tap list invites you to get acquainted with Golden Hills Brewery drops like the Mexican lager, a biscuity American amber ale, and the blood plum and feijoa sour. The wine offering leans local with a handful of options also by the carafe, and the cocktail lineup is filled with gently tweaked favourites. Try the spritzed fusion of limoncello, thyme and prosecco, or go for the bar's take on a sbagliato featuring Davidson plum.

Find Hotel South Melbourne at 160 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne. It's open daily from 12pm–late.

Images: Griffin Simm

Published on February 27, 2023 by Libby Curran
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