Essentially a pub set in a beautiful old hotel, O'Connell's has long been a favourite for those in need of a gastronomic feed. The dining area, which incorporates three rooms, is elegantly yet unpretentiously furnished, making it the perfect position for a leisurely lunch or relaxing dinner. Set back from the coast in South Melbourne's Coventry Street, it's all about the food and not about the view.
After Cath Kalka's departure in September 2005, sous chef Jamie Beulke has taken over the reigns of the kitchen bringing with him a confidence earned from working under such an established chef for three years and his own unique flare. Start with haloumi-chickpea fritters with dried tomatoes, cress and minted yoghurt, or Szechwaun duck with ginger crepes and chilli-cucumber dipping sauce. For main sample the lamb, red wine and rosemary pie with buttered peas and garlic mash, or perhaps the beer battered rockling with garden salad and fries. Worth mentioning too is the famed O'Connell's burger served with crunchy, fat chips, or the locals favourite of crumbed veal scaloppine with rocket, red onion, fetta, lemon and fries. Finish with the cardamom panna cotta, maple poached pear and crostoli, or the hot chocolate profiteroles with hazelnut and frangelico ice-cream. The wine list incorporates a good range of Australian varieties and blends.