Our colonial heritage is responsible for the proliferation of British-style pubs across this great southern land, as well as the tradition of the Sunday roast. But rather than spending your Sunday baking over a hot oven, let the professionals take care of the cooking and head out to these ace Sydney pubs putting on a proper roast lunch or dinner during the colder months. We're talking legs of lamb with mint jelly and roast veg, roast beef and yorkies or maybe a chook with lemon and herbs and lots of gravy. Whatever your preferred cut, there's a top pub roast out there for you.
The best Sunday roasts in Sydney
The Sunday roast here pulls a serious crowd. For $25 you can choose between roast beef or crisp pork belly, both of which come served with golden potatoes, honey roasted carrots, steamed broccoli, gravy and a large Yorkshire pudding. They will reserve tables, which is a particularly good idea if the weather is suspect, or you can book for ten people and host your own roast. Lunch is your best bet either way. They often sell out by dinner and all the craft beer in the world isn’t much consolation when your heart was set on a roast.
The Four in Hand kitchen is all over the roast meats business. The sunny bar is significantly less crowded at lunch and it means you are guaranteed a plate – they sold out by 6pm on one of our visits. The kitchen has also passed from one capable set of hands (Colin Fassnidge) to another (Guillaume Brahimi) so now $24 buys you a big portion of roast lamb or chicken with seasonal sides like carrots, pumpkin and potatoes. It’s a big meal so if you want to sleep in and have a combined breakfast/lunch roast you’ll have our full support.
A pirate-themed bar that specialises in seafood and cocktails wouldn’t be the first place you’d think of for a traditional pub roast, but Pyrmont’s newest drinking hole is pulling in a dedicated bunch of locals for its $20 plate of hearty meat and veg. Your roast comes on an enamel dish with two soft Yorkshire puddings and a generous pour of salty gravy over the veggies. We're talking crispy chat potatoes, green beans and carrots and cheesy cream cauliflower. Finishing it all requires a sailor’s appetite and a pint of ale straight from the tap.
The elegantly refurbished establishment does a Sunday roast that will set you back $30 for a serve of roasted pork belly with crackling, baked potatoes, pumpkin mash, roasted apple puree, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Or if you don't fancy pork they also do a saddle of lamb with mint jelly and all the trimmings. Pair it with a Peroni, a 4 Pines or a James Squire amber ale out of the fridge and you've got a solid Sunday session right there.
The Sunday roast is a hot ticket. Forty-five minute wait times are not unheard of, but with winter sun streaming through the windows of the British-styled gastro-pub and a James Squire Orchard Crush cider or a Little Creatures pale ale in hand there are worse places to kill some time. As a reward for our patience we get a pink slice of roast beef with peas, asparagus, roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding and a golden fried ball of goat’s cheese and cauliflower for $25. Plus you get an excellent condiments trifecta of gravy, mustard and horseradish cream.
They like to change things up for their Sunday roasts (pork, lamb, beef and chicken are on rotation), but on our visit we are pleased as punch with half a chook served with a hearty gravy, big chunks of roast potato, pumpkins and carrots, a Yorskire pudding and a sprinkling of chives. It’s $19 and comes in generous portions, putting that post-roast nap pretty high on the agenda.
The Sunday roast at the Centennial is best enjoyed up at the zinc bar with a glass of wine, friendly Irish banter from the bartenders and a good view of the dining room. It’s not cheap at $35, but it is delicious. What's on offer will change week to week depending on what produce they get in the morning, but previous offerings have included the likes of roast suckling pig and chateaubriand steak with wood fired root vegetables, sweet potato and baked apple sauce.
Ok, here's the thing. The Tilbury does a mean Sunday roast, but you have to eat it in the restaurant. This venue can be a bit confusing becasue different areas are strictly for different things, but it's worth lobbing up for a $35 for a great lunch. You can check out the monthly roast calendar, which includes the likes of braised lamb shoulder, pork loin and even the occasional spit roasted pig.