From the outside, the Terminus Hotel looks like every other pub in Melbourne. The front bar has trivia nights, sticky carpet and spiffy lampshades. But out the back, past the ATM, lies a secret: a warm, cosy, stylish restaurant serving hearty gourmet dinners.
Chef Matt Merrick splits the menu between pub favourites like parmas, beef burgers and fish and chips, and a stack of seasonal European-inspired dishes, like baby snapper with sauce vierge, lamb shanks or spanner crab risotto. Steaks take up a full quarter of the menu, and the specials are worth keeping an eye on just for the oysters.
The rosemary fries are delicious, and desserts like panna cotta and Eton mess leave you in a happy coma by the end of the meal. Whether you opt for the bustling front bar or the restaurant with its open fireplace, brass chandeliers and bluestone walls, the Terminus is a great way to waste an evening.
492 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
(03) 9481 3182, www.terminus.com.au