As a newbie to Sydney, still reasonably fresh off the plane, I was looking forward to visiting ‘a local’s destination’. Last week my appetite and my partner made their way to The Royal Hotel Paddington . With a history spanning over 127 years, I’m sure the walls could recount some fair dinkum Aussie yarns. In contemporary times, it’s marketed as a multifaceted venue with a theme on most nights ranging from classic Trivia Nights to Bottomless Bellini Brunches.
A five-story structure, each floor has its own personality. As you enter, you’re greeted with a conventional sports pub atmosphere. A broad selection of beer on tap is on offer, and screens flanking the walls were ready in action for those pivotal game moments.
Taking the first flight of stairs will lead you into the restaurant with an ambiance and décor that appears quite understated. The staff casually seated us in the closest indoor table, which was pleasant enough. However, for the nights when the weather is more benevolent, try nabbing a space on the balcony and you’ll be rewarded with ample views of the neighbourhood below.
Perusing the gastro-pub style menu, we started with oysters accompanied with cucumber verjus and granite. They arrived so fresh, I quaffed mine au natural. For main, although the numerous steaks were tempting, my German partner opted for the kangaroo loin, wattle seed, sweet potato croquettes, and beetroot ($29) as he was a virgin to the native lean protein. My previous attempts of trying this elsewhere brought back memories of chewing on a bland rubber boot. Hats off to the chef, who treated the local ingredient with care. It arrived to the table tender with a hint of smokiness. The beetroot jus and croquet were quote ‘off the hook’. My fish of the day was salmon (market price). The fillet was perfectly cooked, and my vegetables of fresh peas and cherry tomatoes were adequately prepared, although lacked a little seasoning. Parmesan truffle fries ($16) were ordered to appease our carb cravings. The shoestring variety were crisp, the aioli acceptable, and the serving size generous.
Our beverage choice for the evening was a recommended pleasing to the palate Margaret River shiraz ($9 glass/$42 bottle). We rounded off the meal with a decadent chocolate dessert. ($14) Simply named ‘chocolate textures’ the plate was a medley of Valrhona in the form of piped mousse, a soft brownie, tempered chocolate squares with the prerequisite shine and snap, finished with a soil crumb. Rich desserts can sometimes be cloying, but this was well balanced.
Post feast, we ambled up the next flight of stairs to the Elephant Bar and Rooftop. After a chatting to the knowledgeable bar staff, we settled for a nightcap of espresso martini ($20). Armed with our cocktails we traipsed the final flight of stairs, and jostled for some room on the Rooftop. With a handful of tables, and capacity for forty people, it’s certainly an intimate space.
Overall, the venue is a relaxed affair with the ability for cater a wide array of patrons, from the sports obsessed catching a game to a girls’ weekend bubbly brunch. I can see why it’s a firm favourite with the locals. A mental bookmark was made to return with visitors to Sydney to relish the sweeping city views from the rooftop.
The Royal Hotel Paddington is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to midnight and on Sundays from 11am to 10pm.
|237 Glenmore Road|
|+61 2 9331 2604|
Mon – Sat midday – midnight
Sun midday – 10pm