As people open the doors into the newly renovated Charing Cross Hotel, you’re likely to hear a sharp intake of breath.
The light, coastally inspired interior is a delightful surprise, especially considering the unassuming pub exterior plonked upon a busy five-way intersection.
The wicker chairs of the stylish, baby blue dining room are but one place to relax and explore a drinks list that hits the trifecta.
So expect to smile whatever your tipple - cocktails, wine or on-tap craft brew.
A Locals Drop ($17) blending white rum, ruby grapefruit and Campari will help to reduce the rich excesses of Chef Matt Kemp’s Crispy Pigs Head ($14), pressed into fat, crumbed batons and complemented by lovely piccalilli.
A relative cheapie - Sant Josep White Garnacha ($36/bottle) - is opulent enough to accompany a heroic Roast Pork Neck ($30) with crackling, radicchio, balsamic, honey and pears, without destroying a simple plate of Swordfish ($28) adorned with juicy, wet cucumbers, pink grapefruit and perilla.
You’ll find the signature modern British touches – like a Peach, Raspberry and Champagne Trifle ($14) – that Kemp is famous for, sitting...
...alongside area-appropriate seafood, like House Salted Cod Risotto with Poached Egg ($18).
And everything, down to the sides, like compelling Thrice Cooked Fries ($7), show off Kemp’s usual mastery of flavour and technique.
*This was my PUB OF THE WEEK segment on 2GB 873 Fresh! with Luke Grant & Luke Mangan
on Sunday 26th October, 2014: http://www.2gb.com/article/fresh-sunday-october-26
Charing Cross Hotel
81 Carrington Road, Waverley
Ph: (02) 9389 3093