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Bartenders’ guides to Sydney’s secrets: Leeroy Petersen, The Village Inn

Bartender/owner Leeroy shares what's best on the streets of Sydney

Photograph: Daniel Boud

Leeroy is a former Australian champion flair bartender – yep, like Tom Cruise in Cocktail – who has competed at world championships in Dubai and Hong Kong. The Village Inn is his first effort as owner-operator: a stylish revamp of the former Durty Nelly’s, the oldest pub in Paddington.

Leeroy feeds at: Ginger and Spice Singapore Restaurant, Neutral Bay
“I’ve spent some time in Singapore and I really like the Malaysian-Singaporean style of food. I like Ginger and Spice – it’s been there quite a while. I love the laksa, it’s one of my favourite dishes. They serve popiah as well – a very Singaporean dish, kind of like a little wrap with peanut sauce, chicken and prawn. The place always seems to be full and busy with Malaysians and Singaporeans, which I like.”

Leeroy drinks at: Longrain, Surry Hills
“The food is authentic, there is a great selection of beers and the cocktails are fantastic. It’s proof Sydney can host beautiful venues that can withstand the test of time – it’s almost institutional now, in a league of its own. They have some fantastic cocktails infused with lemongrass, basil and chilli – you feel like you’re drinking in Thailand.”

Leeroy hunts at: Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour
“My wife and I grab our little son and take him down to the Chinese Garden – it’s a beautiful spot with pavilions and ponds, it’s pretty nice. My son loves the koi fish. Then we’ll go toMarket City and its fashion outlet stores and we’ll get lunch at the big Malay food court up top.”

Leeroy gathers at: Song for the Mute, Glebe
“This is a really innovative label for men’s and women’s fashion, by these two local designers, Melvin Tanaya and Lyna Ty. My bar is smack bang in the Australian fashion district in Paddington, and a brand like that would sit well around here. There’s always space for new Australian or Asian fashion label to open up, they’d do well.”

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