The Gastronomic Pub Crawl of North Melbourne:
The Keeper`s Arms
Russell Degnan

351 Queensberry St. North Melbourne
(corner of Peel and Queensberry Streets)

At the end of Courtney Street next to a backpackers lies the Keepers Arms. A pub famous for two things: for showing Premier League and rugby union games that have been known to draw in large crowds of enthusiastic punters (including myself); and for having the best chicken parma in Victoria. Needless to say that kind of rap needs to be ascertained for oneself, so this venue on our little jaunt was keenly anticipated.

But first, the surrounds. The Keeper's runs closer to your classic pub than the venues we'd been to before. It is a place happier with Carlton on tap instead of Tetley's or Heineken. Of simply laid out slighty wonky wooden tables and a dominating central bar that somehow always seems a more appropriate place to sit. Of a pool table out back and music the bartender happens to like. A local pub in other words, but one that occasionally sees a couple of hundred English yobs yelling at the tele.

The parma though, was disappointing. The chips were sensational, the cheese and ham likewise, and the size was right, but the sauce seemed to have too much starch, making the chicken dry. It was still good, but I've had better. Perhaps I expected too much. Still a pub I visit often.

The short: A local for drinking and sport

Next week: The Leveson Hotel (Leveson Street, south of Queensberry Street).

Melbourne Town 17th August, 2005 20:03:07   [#] 


The central bar does seem like the right place to sit. Although when it is full of rugby supporters, I imagine the tables feel less like islands.
BridgeGirl  18th August, 2005 15:36:19  

When...'re sniffing the back of a Liverpool suporter's unwashed shirt the tables seem more like sanctuaries, but alas I never seem to be able to get one on those kind of days.
Russ Degnan  18th August, 2005 18:53:23  

Bland as well as starchy
In my opinion, it wasn't just that the sauce was starchy; it lacked any discernable flavour as well. It was a sensational looking parma, with cheese cooked to perfection, but it just didn't have the zing to raise it above the competent.
Rob  19th August, 2005 01:27:16