The Woollahra Hotel
Time Out says
With its living vertical garden and contemporary Asian flavours, the Woollahra Hotel moves beyond classic pub fare
Behind a somewhat austere stone facade, the Woollahra Hotel is all about abundance. It’s a pub, sure – but it’s a pub in Woollahra, a little pocket just off the tail end of Paddington and home to pretty terraces, tree-lined streets and one of the city’s highest median incomes.
While the hotel’s been around forever (since the 1930’s, to be exact), it’s just reopened its doors after a three-month hiatus and a well-deserved glow-up. Walking upstairs from the main entrance leads you to a picture-perfect semi-outdoor terrace complete with a vertical living garden – fern fronds will gently brush you during dinner, like it or not – and an expansive, glass-walled dining space.
Courtesy of the new head chef, Jordan Muhamad (ex-Rockpool, Spice Temple and Chin Chin), the menu is distinctly Asian-inspired. Muhamad has directed his fine-dining sensibilities towards creating a menu of polished, creative dishes – at a pub-friendly price point. Steamed snapper swims in a light, soy and ginger broth, while salt and pepper squid, a pub favourite, is enhanced with the addition of a tangy nuoc chaum – a Vietnamese dipping sauce. The rump steak comes with an Asian-inspired pesto, and there are, of course, hot chips on the menu – they’re just dressed up with chilli sauce and a sprinkling of chilli salt.
Fresher options abound, too. The raw tuna salad pairs perfectly with a chilled rose while the sun streams into the outdoor terrace, and the wok-tossed Asian greens are an ideal side dish to assuage any guilt about an otherwise beige-toned meal. The house special Thai green curry is made with Thai eggplant, snake beans & baby corn – and yes, you can order the curry at this particular pub.
Moncur Cellars’ Mark Blake is in charge of the wine list, which includes a solid array of organic, vegan and preservative-free wines, cherry-picked to complement Asian flavours. Cocktails are also a hit – the Full Moon Margarita is made from Espalon Blanco tequila, blood orange and grapefruit juice, while the G&T is a better option for those who’d rather keep things fresh and simple.
The refreshed dining space is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 pm, and Friday to Sunday from noon. The lounge space downstairs is also open for drinks and function spaces are available to book out.
116 Queen St
|Opening hours:||-Thu 5pm-midnight; Fri, Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm|