THIS week I made a rare venture outside Voiceland to check out the refurbished Como Hotel.
In recent years the old art deco building has started to looked a bit tatty, but thanks to a multi-million dollar facelift it now takes pride of place on the Canning Highway.
The new hotel interior is incredibly bright and airy with a huge open plan dining room that segues into an outdoor area with a giant pergola and deck, creating a Mediterranean vibe.
Inside the classy fittings and stylish lights are tasteful, while the art deco wallpaper is a nod to the building’s illustrious past.
The smallish menu wasn’t very experimental and pandered to the pub crowd with old favourites like chicken parmi, beer battered snapper and chips, and steak sandwich.
There were also some “hand stretched” pizzas, salads and a range of entrees/share plates, but a specials menu or some curveball dishes would have piqued my interest.
The pleasant waitress made sure we had ice cold tap water straight away, and was very efficient and friendly throughout our meal.
All the waiting staff wore a livery with a smart olive apron. It was a small touch, but helped give the place a sense of identity and looked very professional.
I kept things simple and ordered a beef burger and chips ($23).
skyscrapers that fall to bits when you pick them up, reducing your plate to a cholesterol swamp, while your doctor prepares another script.
Thankfully this specimen had just the right girth and stature.
The standout was the beef patty, which had a lovely chargrilled flavour and some creamy cheese melted on top.
Rounding the burger off was some crunchy lettuce and juicy tomato.
The crispy fries were so moreish I had to stop my wife and kids from filching them.
This was a solid burger that hit the spot.
Across the table my wife was admiring her panfried duck breast with smashed potato, baby carrots and jus ($34).
The dish certainly looked the part with thick slices of duck perched on a bed of potato and flanked by rustic carrots.
“The duck is very tasty but I would have liked more pinky flesh as some bits are slightly over,” my wife said.
“The smashed potato is nice, but some extra jus and seasoning would have given it more flavour, and there’s the odd cold pocket which is unfortunate.
“Overall it’s a pleasant dish, but when you get over the $30 mark I expect it to have the wow factor.” Across the table, our kids were wolfing down their ham and cheese pizzas ($12 each) from the children’s menu.
The pizzas were just the right size and nothing was left on the plate after 10 minutes, so all good.
During the meal we enjoyed a couple of ice cold beverages in stylish pint glasses, and there was a good selection of craft beers and wines at the bar.
By 6pm on Tuesday, the large hotel was heaving with punters and there was a nice lively vibe, so the refurb has clearly gone down well with locals.
There’s a 10 per cent discount for seniors on mains, but I didn’t see any weekday specials like
“steak night” which other hotels/pubs offer.
You can’t fault the aesthetics of the refurbed Como Hotel, which is now a stunning watering hole for punters south of the river.
The food was solid without setting the heather on fire, but I’m sure the kitchen will tweak the menu as they settle in.
241 Canning Highway, Como