It feels comforting to be back in Kings Cross eating at Maggie’s. Opening in 2005 at the end of a non-compete contract clause when the eponymous former owner moved over from Una’s, this spot is now also long-standing in Sydney restaurant years. I’m pleased to report that while they’re a few bucks more than I remember, the jaeger schnitzels ($27) - taken in either chicken or veal - remain some of the best in Sydney. They’re tightly crumbed, double-layer affairs served with a creamy mushroom sauce that’s so good, you can throw caution to the wind and not get it on the side. There’s also a lightly golden mound of potato rösti, crisp on the edges but under-fried in the centre, and individual pots of sauerkraut (tangy white cabbage ‘slaw) that floor staff forgot but promptly rectified.
While the menu now contains some oddities - like Persian Shirazi bruschetta and pasta Napolitana - the additions don’t seem to have been added at the expense of their retro faves. Golden wedges of deep-fried Camembert ($12) are dragged through store-bought cranberry sauce and just as wickedly fun as I remember. The on-tap German Erdinger Cloudy Ale Weißbier ($10/300ml) has enough citrus to cut through their cheesy intensity. I don’t remember Grey Goose martinis ($20) being standard during my historic visits - mostly when I needed to refuel after big nights before - however I heartily approve of the addition. Present clean but balanced with two tart green olives on a stick, they prompted me to ask for another. We end on old-fashioned crepes ($12) with sugar and freshly squeezed lemon. As the next generation of local constabulary drop by to collect their own tea, I muse that sometimes it’s nice to look back on where you have been.