My mate Jason, who is a dog owner, thinks dogs in pubs are a terrible idea. Jason reckons being a good dog parent messes with his prime objective in a pub – knocking back a few beers and socialising with mates.
For me, seeing puppies hanging out in the front bar in the Unicorn Hotel seemed like a great idea, but of course, I just have cats at home to worry about.
We debated this back and forth over a (quite pricy) tinny of Yulli’s Amanda Mandarin ($12.50) that was easy to enjoy.
Then we moved on to a pair of Penicillin ($14/each) cocktails, which were not, because they were mouth-blastingly sour.
Beyond the dogs, what impressed me about this Paddington pub was it was full of everyday Paddington people, including some who were swing dancing up a storm to live music and an appreciative crowd of onlookers.
The old-world charm of this art deco era public house continues into a menu of retro-fantastic snacks like Jatz with French Onion Dip ($12), that eats well but feels kinda pricy for less than a packet of Jatz with a tub of dip.
There’s also a Potato Scallop ($14) served in a milk-bar style paper bag with slightly more hipster salt and vinegar powder and smoked tomato ketchup, though it doesn’t live up to the deliciousness I remember from being a kid.
Spying a Mary’s Burger ($20) on the menu I hit it up only to find it’s curiously unsatisfying (and a far cry from the one I ate at their Pitt Street outlet when it first appeared).
While the patty and the accompanying lettuce, tomato, mayo., cheese and Mary's special sauce felt similar, the toasted milk bun seemed a little stale, and the overall taste didn’t smack you in the burger sweet spot like the first one I tried.
While The Unicorn Hotel's food was just okay rather than great, the community-focused vibe was pretty nice. I only wish the place – particularly the amenities – were kept a little cleaner across the course of a Sunday afternoon.
NOTE: You can see a previous review for this venue HERE.
The Unicorn Hotel
106 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: none provided