The Market Hotel on Clarendon Street has all of the makings of a good local pub. Offering a sports bar, lounge bar and rooftop garden, the venue is absolutely incredible. With its indoor palm tress, string lights and vertical gardens, you'd be forgiven for thinking you had been whisked away to a tropical jungle.
To eat we ordered the steamed mixed dumplings with a kinging chilli oil and wakame in a soy broth, the "Parma" which was a crumbed prosciutto chicken topped a herbed tomato sugo sauce and buffalo mozzarella and the pan fried gnocchi with tomato water, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes and spring onion.
Being a pub, I didn't have the highest hope for the dumplings, but I was pleasantly surprised. The fillings were delicious and full of flavour, and the overall dumplings were cooked perfectly. Definitely a dish I would order again.
The gnocchi itself was also cooked perfectly and tasted homemade. However, the tomatoes tasted tart and acidic, which overpowered the rest of the dish.
The Parma was by far the most elegant parma I have ever seen. However, it was probably more aptly described as a chicken schnitzel with roasted tomatoes on top, which, whilst delicious, was a disappointment when you're expecting more of a traditional parma smothered with cheese and sauce.
One thing that the Market Hotel's menu is missing is a desert menu - a pub meal for me just isn't complete without a finale along the lines of a warm and oozy sticky date pudding. Nonetheless, with its incredible venue, live music on Friday nights and incredibly friendly staff, I will definitely be back to give Market Hotel another shot.
Verdict: like - get around to trying it at some point
160 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne