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The Bay Hotel Mornington

Home > Melbourne > Bars | Dinner | Food and Wine | Lunch | Pubs
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published November 12th 2022
A dash of Irish charm brings new life to this Mornington pub
The Bay Hotel in Mornington reopened in May this year, after a major makeover. The building was originally a Commercial Bank branch, and the new design introduced by owner, Liam Ganley, along with Studio Y, has seen the heritage-listed venue receive a fresh new look while retaining its historic features and character.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
The Bay Hotel in Mornington has undergone a complete makeover. (Image from The Bay Hotel's Facebook Page.)

The interior of the hotel is spacious, however plush booths in the restaurant provide intimacy for diners. Note too, the wall lights and wood panelling, a tilt to the hotel's banking past.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Plush booths feature in the restaurant. (Image from The Bay Hotel's Facebook page.)

The original bank vault has also been retained, creating a bookable space for small private gatherings. The room is fitted with a TV screen, so it would be the perfect place to watch your favourite team playing while enjoying a few drinks with a group of friends.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
The original bank vault is available for small private functions. (Image from The Bay Hotel's Facebook page.)

We visited on a Wednesday, which, as it happens is fish and chip day - $22 for ale battered fish and hand cut chips with tartare sauce and a small side salad (normally $29). (Insider tip: if chicken parmas are more your thing, you can get a panko crusted parma with chips and salad for $22 on Thursdays.)

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Wednesday is fish and chip day - get a great serve of fish and chips for $22.

Scanning the menu, I could see a number of dishes that looked instantly appealing. I felt it only fitting that I should try the fish and chips, and selected anchovy toast with herb mayo, sweet peppers and pickled shallots ($10) as a starter. My dining companion chose Mount Martha mussels with prosciutto, lemon and butter sauce, garlic and chilli ($23) as his entree, and the grilled salmon Niçoise salad with olives, cos hearts, potato, beans, soft boiled egg, tomato and honey mustard dressing ($36) as a main course.

The anchovy toast looked divine on the plate, and it was a delight to eat. I was transported back to northern Spain and the glorious pintxos we had there a few years back. The salty fish paired beautifully with the slightly sweet herb mayo.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Anchovy toast with herb mayo, sweet peppers and pickled shallots. (Writer's image.)

My partner enjoyed the mussels too. The Mount Martha mussels are not the largest available, but it is great to know they are locally produced, meaning they are super fresh, and supporting local industry. They were succulent little morsels, generously supported by the prosciutto and the lemon and butter sauce. My partner declared the sauce to be 'smack on', and every drop was mopped up.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Mount Martha mussels - succulent little morsels. (Writer's image.)

Again the fish and chips I'd ordered looked immediately appealing when served. It was a generous portion, and the fish and chips were cooked to golden perfection. The batter was light and crispy. The hand cut chips were chunky, yet crisp on the outside while retaining the softness of the potato flesh. It was fish and chip perfection, and amazing value for $22.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Fish and chip perfection - great value for $22. (Writer's image.)

Finally, to the grilled salmon Niçoise salad. The photo perhaps belies the complexity of this variation on a classic dish. There is a clever balance between the beautifully cooked salmon, the briny olives, crisp-tender green beans, and satisfying potatoes, the ingredients given cohesion through the zingy dressing.

The Bay Hotel Mornington
Grilled salmon Nicoise salad. (Writer's image.)

As well as a broad food selection, The Bay Hotel offers a good range of wines by the glass and bottle, beers and cocktails. You can view the range here.

Adding another leaf to its book, The Bay Hotel has live music playing in its upstairs Band Room each weekend. You can view the gig guide here.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable meal at The Bay Hotel, and I highly recommend a visit. Work up an appetite by taking a stroll along one of Mornington's beautiful beaches while you're in the area. And wander upstairs after your meal to catch the wide range of musical talent lined up to play in the Band Room!

The Bay Hotel is located at 62 Main Street, Mornington. It is open seven days, from 4pm til late on Monday and Tuesday, and from 12 noon til late Wednesday to Sunday.

You can make online bookings for the restaurant for groups of up to 8 people by clicking here, or for larger groups by clicking here. Bookings are not taken for the bar, which is reserved for walk-in guests on a 'first in, best dressed' basis.
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Why? Great food and vibe, pub prices
When: Open 4pm til late Mon-Tues, and 12pm til late Wed - Sun
Phone: (03) 9534 0194
Where: 62 Main Street, Mornington
Cost: See menu for prices
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