I'm a freelance writer. My passions are Art, Dining out, and quirky things. I enjoy uncovering hidden in plain sight gems.
Published December 25th 2017
Gastropub Garden Style
Garden State Hotel is a stand out when you walk down Flinders Lane. Before it was Garden State Hotel, it was an Italian restaurant thats name eludes me. It opens for lunch and dinner and has a gastro pub feel on the outside.
It's a short walk down from the corner of Exhibition Street. Most Friday nights are filled with office workers of various descriptions. Big companies like Telstra, Ernst & Young, the Fair Work Commission, and BHP Billiton are within a short walk to Garden State. It fills up fairly quickly at happy hour, so it's best to reserve a table if you haven't already done so.
Garden State Hotel is decorated with gorgeous trees, lovely plants, and it's main pub section has an ambient outside feel. Architecturally it is one of the cleverest inside builds I've seen. The facade from the outside has remained the same, but with the renovation it has opened up the space for depth and light. The natural light streams through the inner pub section. It has the sense of being in a friend's backyard somewhere in inner suburban Melbourne. You could easily come for one drink and end up staying far longer than anticipated. The service staff are also friendly and quick.
There are also two restaurants within Garden State Hotel. The Rose Garden down in the basement section, and Balcony Dining Room when you go up the stairs at the back. Given the quality of the pub food that you can get, you can bet on that your money will be well spent on going to either of those restaurants with equally impeccable service. One night I went into the Balcony Dining Room because it was quieter than the pub space. I had a couple of small sample items from the a la carte menu and they were delicious. I noted that they have a chef written degustation menu for around $60. It looked fantastic. And ever since I've been meaning to go back with a friend to try it out.