Great potential but consistently inconsistent.Our rating:
I've been to the Wembley a dozen or so times this year and I've had a varied experience every time. Only a few things have remained constant and unfortunately most of them are bad. Whilst the rating reflects an average of all my visits, this review is only based on the most recent one.
First impressions were good, the old 1930's building stands proud on the corner of Cambridge and Alexander street and the sizable outdoor beer garden looks great. That initial charm is instantly lost as you walk through the front doors and you are hit by a wall of bad smell. Don't get me wrong I love the smell of old pubs, the old wooden furniture and spilt beer along with a few other things creates a nostalgic scent that reminds me of when I was a kid and we'd go down to the local pub for dinner. But the smell that hits you here is nothing of the sort, it's a dingy, old, slightly stale smell.
We went straight to the bar to get a drink and were treated to the typical Gen Y "I'm too cool for this job attitude" We had to flag down someone to serve us even though there were only three or four other people at the bar. They don't take eftpos/credit cards behind the bar so you have to use one of those crappy 'dial-up' ATMs. Once we had our drinks and had ordered our food (from a separate counter) we immediately headed outside to evade the smell and get a spot in the sun.
One of the main reasons I have been back to The Wembley so many times has been the food. It is leaning towards the expensive side of pub grub but it's normally great and you don't have to wait too long either. This time was different though. We waited about 40 minutes for our food to come which was odd as it was a Monday and the pub wasn't overly busy. I ordered the Pear Cider Glazed Pork Belly and my friend had the Steak Dianne. The pork belly tasted great but had a large amount of undercooked fat on it and the tiny bit of crackling (the part I was most excited about) was disappointing and chewy rather than being crunchy. The veggies that came with it tasted amazing but the apple and fennel puree was very sweet and too over powering. The steak came out medium-well even though it was ordered medium-rare, but still tasted good.
Drinks were fairly priced with most pints costing just less than the now standard $10 and there is a fairly standard selection of beer, wine and spirits. The pub's interior has great potential but the space is really under-utilised and it is in need of a touch up here and there. One thing in particular to watch out for is the toilets, they are gross and it seems as if they are only cleaned every time Halley's Comet passes the Earth (75-76 years).
If I was to sum up The Wembley in one word it would be; Inconsistent. Over the twelve or so times I have been there this year; some have been great, the majority have been above average and then there was this time, which frankly, was just disappointing. I will definitely try to get back there within the next few months and give it another review.
Night: Smart Casual