It’s a truly great pub that manages to strike an easy balance between being a familiar, cosy watering hole and raising the bar where it counts – the food and drink. We don’t much mind what old timey art sits on the walls, or if the playlist forgoes Chisel for the Natalie Imbruglia on occasion, but we do care quite a lot about what’s on our plates and in our glasses.
At the Welcome a degree of extra care has been given to the menus so that the craft beers on tap reflect the evolving boutique brewing scene in Sydney, and also match the season. In summer you can expect a high rotation of tropical pales and sessionable golden ales, but come the wintry months you’ll want to wrap you laughing gear around the toasty, bitter dark ale from Tassie’s Moo Brew, or treat yourself to the resinous, fruity aromas in Mornington’s imperial IPA. If you don’t know what you like or don’t recognise the line-up on your visit grab a tasting paddle for $20 and work it out the fun way.
Now that you’ve slaked that thirst it’s dinnertime. Over in the adjoining restaurant chef Daniel Mulligan flexes his kitchen muscle with a modern Italian menu, but in the public bar the menu finds a middle ground between higher end dining and bistro stalwarts. Yes, they do a pub pie, but here it’s a little pot of comforting chicken and mushrooms stew with a caramel coloured pastry crown. Do not fear the pub pasta here. Mulligan’s former posting was at Pilu at Freshwater and his Italian pedigree shows in a plate of tender, golden saffron pasta tubes arrive with a pork mince and porcini mushroom sauce, fragrant with rosemary and finished with a restrained sprinkle of pecorino cheese.
It’s all about the elevated pub fare. Instead of schnitzel they do a crumbed pork cutlet with Italian coleslaw, and we’ll always forgo fries when there’s a little bowl of golden, crunchy kipfler potatoes carrying the full flavour force of chilli, garlic, rosemary and black olives. The best part about this place is that all this excellent beer and delicious food comes wrapped inside an old corner pub. The ceilings are low, there’re big screens for sport watching and there’s good trivia action on a Tuesday.