Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Max's Hotel

This old world style hotel at Commercial Rd Prahran, is a few hundred yards from the Alfred Hospital. The main dining area has been opened up many years ago by removing a couple of walls and it can now comfortably accommodate about 40 diners. Décor consists of odd memorabilia including stuff like a mounted head and neck of a large deer and a Danish poster advertising a live sex show.
In all it is a pleasant, carpeted area populated by a variety of old tables and comfortable chairs.
What is particularly good is the food
There are a number of dishes served at the bar as well as a regular menu available.

Normally a main course they were very good
I had crumbed pig’s trotters as entrée which came with a leaf salad and a baby beetroot. I expected a whole trotter but the meat had been shredded off the trotter and it came as a cutlet.
Good taste. We shared a duck pie as an entrée. It was somewhat dry with excellent pastry. Paparadelles also served as an entrée were also very good. For mains the pigeon was replaced by an excellent pheasant. An offal dish – lamb brains, sweatbreads and pigs trotters served with a variety of mushrooms. It was disappointing, again the trotters had been shredded and crumbed and lay on a bed of thin sliced potato It was hard to find the brains despite the waiters assurance that they were there!! The standout dish is the pigeon. It's prepared in the same as the pheasant and looks much the same in this photograph but I have not had a tastier better prepared pigeon ever. Cooked to perfection it was tender and juicy. It’s a regular on the menu and it’s worth going just for that. The passionfruit dessert was also unexpectedly excellent but if you have it be prepared for the very tart sorbet They have a modest wine list, modestly priced. We had very quaffable Imiprint Shiraz by the glass ($6.50)
The menu is quite adventurous but doesn’t always reach expectations. Wednesday night is Steak night - $15 I think and extremely busy
Price: I paid about $50/ person
Parking can be difficult but it’s worth a visit
I’ve now been twice to Hotel Max and it was quite revealing to see the influence of two different waiters. James was extremely well informed about the hotel and the dishes and shared his knowledge with some enthusiasm. On the next occasion our waiter did his job, and he was a lot busier, but failed to stimulate any interest. Indeed I was a little surprised when his response to my question “Do you know what the house red is?” was “Yes” What is the appropriate follow up to that?
Comments: Aspiring pub food - worth a visit
Price: We paid $50/head with a couple of glasses of wine
Score 13.75/20

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