An ambitious transformation saw this Balmain local go from the little-pub-that-couldn’t-be-arsed to the something-for-everyone-tiki-express
This colourful hotel is like one of those children’s party venues where each room has a different theme. The public bar is all breezy open space with solid timber foundations; downstairs things get more tropical with cocktails and vintage décor. There’s the sitting room with lounge settings and frond print walls, but outside goes full garden party with floral upholstery, rainbow umbrellas and festoon lighting running between frangipanis and palm trees. And nothing is on the same level here – it’s like a technicolour MC Escher drawing that serves drinks and Peking duck buns.
During the week it’s not heaving but it gets seriously busy on weekends. Luckily you can book a space. They’re also a dog and child friendly establishment, but equally encourage watching fully grown men crush each other into the dirt on the pull-down screen when a game is on. The Asian American bistro mix peaks with one-dollar dumplings on Thursdays, but if you’re Hank Marvin, the burgers are a good bet.
The Balmain Hotel is definitely on the right track. In a suburb that takes its pubs very seriously it’s nice to see something outside the mould of sports bars and schnitzel.
|Venue name:||The Balmain Hotel|
74 Mullens St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri noon-late; Sat 11am-noon; Sun 11am-10pm|