Monday, March 24, 2008

March 21, 2008: The Empress Hotel

28/01/14: We've spotted news that The Empress closed last month.

Cindy and I spent Friday evening hanging out with Tim Rogers, Glenn Richards and scores of other Melbourne hipsters at Mike Noga's show at the Empress Hotel in North Fitzroy. Before we settled in with some vaguely folk-ish alterna-rock, we ordered up dinner from the pub's impressively extensive menu.

I went for the Empress vegie burger, with fried onion, mixed salad, beetroot and cheese, a serve of fries and some 'house sauce' ($15). It was a pretty decent burger patty, made up some sort of generic vegie mush, with some well-cooked chips and a flavoursome sauce. On the downside - the salad was a bit sad (canned beetroot is never that attractive), and the whole thing was worth substantially less than $15. Still, it was filling and tasty and soaked up the beer.

Cindy wasn't as hungry as me, so she went for an entree-sized serve of tempura vegetables ($9). It was much better value for money -a good sized plate full of broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, zucchini and pumpkin. The batter fell a bit short of ideal, and the promised 'ketchup manis' was nowhere to be seen.

The whole meal was a little disappointing, but for a quick pre-rock pub meal, it's probably worth sampling a few of the cheaper dishes to get you through the night.

Address: 714 Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy
Ph: 9489 8605
Licensed (or course)
Price: veg meals $8 - $18


  1. I like a bit of canned beetroot when you are going for the traditional burger experience! Sounds like an interesting evening

  2. frankly looks like crap food! bun burnt, chips not cooked twice, vegies cut large and lazily. price might have been low enough to not make a fuss but really - food should be celebrated not churned

  3. You're welcome to it, Johanna. :-D While you may happily fluctuate between the two, Michael and I have not been able to enjoy canned beetroot since we tried the fresh stuff!

    I agree that the food wasn't great, anonymous commenter, but I wouldn't go that far. The chips were actually pretty good!

  4. I ate there last night and I agree with Cindy about the food being worth substantally less than what they charge. There were about 10 of us that ate there and not one of us were impressed. I paid $26 for a steak which was a cheap and tough cut of meat. It came with a small serving of chips and an even smaller serving of salad which didn't even have any dressing. It also came with some mushroom sauce which was very nice but there was so much of it that we needed to get some bread to mop it up with. Our only option was garlic bread. For $6 we received THREE PIECES OF TOAST(!!??!), most likely from a $2 loaf of homebrand bread from the supermarket.

    They do have some great music at The Empress and I like the atmosphere but in the future I'll be heading over the road for a kebab instead.

  5. Thanks for adding your thoughts, Anon!