Three Cultures, Three Clubs

Jackie McMillan
8th May 2024

With eating out becoming quite expensive, Jackie McMillan decided to see if there was more value to be found in club dining, taking in three clubs and three different culture for this piece.


You’ll find Mounties in Mount Pritchard in Sydney’s south west. Established in the 1960s, with an extension opened by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1985, the Mount Pritchard & District Community Club has grown with its community and boasts a number of dining options. Bau Truong caught my eye because it once had a Marrickville outpost that made an incredible array of French-Vietnamese small plates. Their menu at Mounties is more traditional: heaving plates of salad, beef noodle soups and mains like pots of spicy coconut prawns ($35) eaten over simple egg and shallot fried rice ($6/bowl).

Pippies ($35.50) with garlic and holy basil was a small dish but the bivalves were plump and expertly handled. My highlight was a generous plate of squid and tamarind salad ($26). It felt like squeezing the last drops of summer with green mango slivers, mint, and tender squid contrasted with batons of crisp green apple that mark the turn of the season. Please note: the dishes here - while still not bad value - are considerably more expensive (up 35%) than the Mounties website led us to believe. We matched this meal with a schooner of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale ($11.50/each) apiece taken on the sunny outdoor terrace.

Gure Txoko Basque Club

The Gure Txoko Basque Club in Darlinghurst provided the cheapest meal of my three club adventure. A three-course Basque lunch will set you back $35 apiece with the catch being, what you eat is not of your choosing. It’s the longest surviving official Basque organisation in Australia. It was established in 1966 by a group of Basque families in Sydney who wanted to preserve their culture, traditions, and most importantly, food! The name translates to ‘our corner’. They serve a traditional Basque lunch every Sunday at 2pm, which is prepared by volunteer chefs who are all members of the club.

After an email exchange with the Committee, we visited the club on Sant Jordi (St George Day and International Book Day) when the Catalan crew were cooking. Over icy glasses of Catalan rojo vermouth ($6) we tucked into flatbread, laid with cooked capsicum, eggplant and sweet red onion, that Catalan locals call coca. Against hefty bowls of zuppa di pesce alla Catalana, a thick (bread-based) seafood soup with mussels, prawns, calamari and fish, we found the fiercely bright Bidaia Txakolina ($50/bottle) from the D.O. Getariako Txakolina region to be a great companion wine.

Learning about Catalonian history, politics and culture from a pair of new arrivals—in Sydney for just six months—made this communal meal pass all too quickly. There’s something quite special about sitting in a room where everyone is speaking in their language of origin scraping the last skerricks from individual pots of tangy whipped yoghurt and berry coulis. You need to book in by 5pm the Friday prior to attending lunch at this unique little club.


Klub Polski

No stranger to Ashfield’s Polish Club, I returned during this three clubs, three cultures adventure with friends to conquer the Sto Lat share platter for four ($202). Delivered to our table by none other than the club president, Ryszard Borysiewicz, it’s a room-stopping mountain of meat that inspired at least one other guest to photograph it. Realistically with two giant roasted pork knuckles, chicken and pork schnitzels, pork and veal cabbage rolls, veal rissoles, and two types of grilled Polish sausage (white kielbasa and kransky) there is more protein than four hungry people can handle. It comes with all the trimmings too: sauerkraut, braised red cabbage, coleslaw, sautéed potatoes with bacon and onion, mustards, and a jug of pork jus.

A two-buck membership here will knock ten per cent off all these prices too, including the booze and they have more than forty different Polish vodkas to cut your teeth on. This Polish Club has been running since 1967 with a flashy rebuild completed in late 2023 that still looks shiny and new. If you intend to dine at Sto Lat, I advise you to make a booking particularly on Friday or Saturday nights. This is a popular club restaurant with the type of stick-to-your-ribs food that gets progressively more attractive as Sydney’s weather cools.