Northcote R.S.L. | Croxton Park Hotel

Our family and friends have frequented our local pub for dinner, purely for the fact that they have a fabulous play area and a kids entertainer every Friday and Saturday night for two hours.

Who doesn't love to patronise local venues. What a wonderful idea! We don't mind paying for food at a pub for FREE kids entertaintment but.... the food isn't great most of the time and I have no doubt we pay for this "free"entertainment where the food prices are out of this world, and the food is anything but exceptional.

Am I allowed to mention this pub....are you sure...oh ok. It is the Croxton Hotel in High Street, Thornbury.

The bistro's manager is fabulous, his talents and personality are wasted in this venue. The food can only be described as a lucky dip. Hit and miss. You never know what you will get. The manager is always apologetic, offers to serve us something else, money back, free bottle of wine, which is always appreciated. BUT we want a good meal. This rarely happens at the Croxton. We are loyal customers, do we like the circus that greets us, do we like the lucky dip? Our son is getting older now, we are ready to move on.

Don't get me wrong. We have had some wonderful meals. Normally the rule is, if it is on the specials board, it will be fabulous. Again, lucky dip, hit and miss. I ordered oysters one night and after waiting for 50 minutes, was told that the chef got the sauce wrong. I had ordered natural oysters. I immediately cancelled my entree, especially since 5 people at the table had already started their main meal.

Personally, I like to try all different styles of food. My partner loves a good eye fillet. Occasionally he will try a special but always regrets it. At the Croxton that is.

Well....this weekend, after frequenting the Croxton Hotel for the past 7 years almost every Friday night, we thought we would try something different.

Hello Barney's Bistro in the Northcote RSL!!!

The venue has been renovated in the past few years. The main entrance now is from ...ummm... that is one of their dilemmas. It is still Googled as being High Street Northcote but the actual entrance is via Dennis Street car park.

We have been to the RSL a few times. The first time the seniors gave us a bit of a look as we were bringing in a child even though the place is kid friendly but we were one of the first families to visit the venue after the renovations. A bit of a culture shock for all parties!

After a few more visits, including an Auskick end of season event which included around 40 children and parents, we seemed to be more accepted by the seniors.

I love the fact that seniors are totally catered for, including the fact that they get to choose the home made rissoles which I hear people rave about! Incredibly low priced meals for the seniors as well. Chef told me he will make them for me, no problem, even though I am not even close to bordering on senior citizen status. YAY.

Speaking of Chef... after service is done, he works the room, making sure every single person is happy. And everybody is. And if they aren't, he will make sure they are. Complimentary desserts, complimentary drinks. The staff are all happy to be there and show it.

Am I doing a price comparison between the Croxton and Northcote RSL? Well I actually started off by writing a review on the Northcote RSL.

The price for eye fillet at the Croxton Hotel is $36. At the RSL, the same steak with home style vegies was $16. My partner demolished the lot and he is not a foodie but said it was the best steak he has had at a pub for as long as he can remember.

I had roast of the day, for the same price. You could not have cooked it better yourself. It was melt in your mouth pork including crackling and home style vegies.

Our son had the bolognaise which was served with tagliatelle. He ate it in 2 seconds flat and walked to the kitchen himself to complement Chef on a fabulous meal, the best ever, better than "that other place". He is 6...and three quarters His dinner included frog in a pond or ice cream with topping for a mere $7.00.

The play area is smaller than the Croxton Hotel BUT they do have a great slide, better food and service as well as 3 or 4 play stations for the children, all free. I love the fact they don't have the machines where you have to constantly give them coins to try to get the crane to pick up chocolate bars or toys, they do have a Chup-a-Chup machine but nobody seems interested.

I urge you to become members. RSL was founded in 1916 and evolved as a direct result of the comaraderie, concern and mateship shown by the diggers for the welfare of their mates during and after the first world war. That ethos of compassion, service and loyalty remains to this day, the motivating influence of the RSL.

Families are so welcome here, bring on the families with kids. The seniors are loving this venue, very reasonably priced food and very good service, but we need more families here to keep it going. I have been told the bistro is running at a loss.

The food is fabulous all served with a smile, the play area is smaller than some pubs (by the way, most pubs have NO play areas) but they do have the fantastic computer games that are free and the kids are all happy.

Did I mention how cheap the drinks are! Half the price of other pubs in the area. Typical RSL prices and they serve a great range of wines.

They also have a fabulous function room that can be used for engagements, hens nights, weddings.

I love the fact that they have still kept all their memorabilia that can be seen scattered in the cabinets throughout the club.

I didn't win on the pokies though! Maybe next time!

Review by Lynda [November 2008]

On January 21, 2009 the Croxton Park Hotel management asked for the removal of this review citing bias and defamation which we do not agree with. It was written by one of our staff who after 7 years of patronage was entitled to express her opinion.

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❊ Address & Contact ❊

Northcote R.S.L. | Croxton Park Hotel⊜ 496 High Street, Northcote | Map
496 High Street,Northcote
(03) 9481 3833

❊ Web Links ❊

Northcote R.S.L. | Croxton Park Hotel 

Northcote R.S.L.

Croxton Park Hotel

Barney's Bistro

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