Apparently there really is nothing you can’t put inside a spring roll
The Dog Hotel in Randwick is huge. And maybe it’s the sheer size of the place that means they haven’t gone as hard on the theming here. This is a pub pared back to essentials.
They’ve given the interiors a gentle refresh and sent the indoor barbecue to the big cookout in the sky, but it’s on the beer front where the big changes have happened. On our visit there’re 42 taps listed above the public bar on the ground floor, and they’re hiding a few more at the satellite bars scattered around the building. That’s a mind-boggling number of combinations in your three-beer, ten dollar tasting paddle.
Start with a summer fresh pale ale from Akasha in Five Dock, move up the flavour scale to a extra fruity double IPA from Pirate Life before bringing it home with a toasty, dark, English-style IPA from Yulli’s. How about a Japanese rice lager? Fancy a taco inspired brew? You can also get a real ale fresh from the hand pumps or a straight up schooner of Tooth’s pale - you do you.
Upstairs, where the bistro used to be, things don’t look too different. You can still grab a seat out on the balcony and the dinner specials are pulling in the crowds, but the system still needs work – the kitchen backs up quickly and the wait times reach an hour on our visit.
However once our Dog’s Dog arrives we are pretty stoked to be eating a very solid pub hot dog. The bun is warm and toasted on the outside but still soft and yielding; a cheese-stuffed kransky is always a good idea; and they go hard on the mustard and onions and light on sweet ketchup. The crackling may have spent a little too long in the fryer, but it’s mostly a garnish so we just leave it out. And you definitely want the red wine gravy, fragrant with sage, for your chips.
If you’re really into the cheeseburger spring rolls made famous by Dan Hong, you’re going to dig the lasagne spring rolls here - pasta sheets and slow cooked beef in a crunchy pastry cigar with a rocket salad on the side.
What you’re getting at the dog is a pub from the days when it meant a corner building full of beer where chat is had and sport is watched. You’ll always be able to find a seat, but it won’t be in the trivia room if you arrive after 7pmon a Wednesday. Plus they’re all about more beer for fewer dollars so you can expect a beer of the week, a four-dollar happy hour special and a Thursday brew. We’ll raise a cut-price schooey to that.
|Venue name:||The DOG Hotel|
2 St Marks Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 10am-midnight; Fri, Sat 10am-2am; Sun 10am-11pm|