Another notch in the belt for Sydney’s expanding pub gentrification with Erskineville’s former Kurrajong Hotel being refitted and re-imagined British West Indies-style.
Not that I’m complaining, Balmain Pub Group - who also own The Riverview and The Balmain Hotel – do good work; opening their public houses up to a wider range of people.
Start in the first floor cocktail bar where a caramel smear makes the Espresso Martini ($18) rather special.
Move to a table in the long 80-seater restaurant to investigate Executive Chef Brad Sloane’s menu.
It reads like home cooking but has a technical edge you’ll appreciate, starting with pungent piccalilli accompanying a rustic Pork Terrine ($16). Sloane’s Beef Tartare ($16) is well balanced and served with smoky bread. If you’re having trouble picking, both dishes feature on the Tasting Plate for Two ($30) alongside Merimbula oysters and a pretty kingfish carpaccio.
The hero of the menu is the Char-grilled Spatchcock ($26), served on a fighting combination of Brussels sprouts, bacon, lentils and chilli.
It’s a perfect match for the 2012 Howard Park Flint Rock Chardonnay ($15/glass), while the small-run 2013 Amato Vino Vermentino ($12/glass) best accompanies the Herb Gnocchi ($22) made vividly green by peas, asparagus and spinach.
And pub desserts rarely scrub up as pretty as The Swanson’s Crème Catalan ($13).
*This was my PUB OF THE WEEK segment on 2GB 873 Fresh! with Luke Grant & Luke Mangan
on Sunday 13th July, 2014: http://www.2gb.com/article/fresh-sunday-july-13
106-108 Swanson Street, Erskineville
Ph: (02) 9519 3609