With most pubs busting a gut to modernise before jumping on the tacos and sliders train, it was almost a relief to stumble across this historic Balmain local again.
They’ve turned back the clock from birdcages and chocolate dumplings, and are now luring in locals with a sidewalk menu board promising Beef and Guinness Pie ($17).
Chef Brad Coates ensures it’s not an empty promise either, trotting out a flaky golden dome hiding a rich and generously beefy stew, with fluffy mash and garden peas.
I’m told the dimly lit, cosy bistro is popular with book clubs, so fittingly I found my dining companion buried in one, with a James Squire Apple Cider ($5/middy) close at hand.
The thing is, when you’re trotting out pub classics like Salt and Pepper Squid ($16), everyone’s tried them before, so your cooking has to be spot on.
This chef doesn’t miss a beat, from the aforementioned tender squid, tarted up with zingy chilli and lime aioli, to the Salmon Fillet ($20) with warm potato and dill salad.
He even includes Brussels sprouts in the generous Steamed Seasonal Vegies ($8).
When you throw in cheap but drinkable plonk, like Under & Over King Valley Pinot Gris ($28/bottle), you’d be laughing if this were your local.
Check out my last visit to this hotel HERE.
*This was my PUB OF THE WEEK on 2GB 873 Fresh! with Luke Grant & Luke Mangan
on Sunday 16th June, 2013: http://www.2gb.com/article/fresh-sunday-j
Sir William Wallace Hotel
31 Cameron Street, Balmain
Ph: (02) 9555.8570