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  1. A giant Yorkshire pudding with a roast dinner inside it
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. The front bar of the Forresters, a conservatory with hanging plants and banquette seating
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. A flat lay of the pub food
    Photograph: Kitti Gould
  4. Three cocktails
    Photograph: Kitti Gould
  5. The tropical themed private dining room
    Photograph: Kitti Gould

Time Out says

This Surry Hills stalwart has a flash fit-out and the Yorkshire pudding to end them all

May 2023 update: Surry Hills watering hole Forrester’s has been serving locals comforting meals and refreshing pints for more than 100 years. Now overseen by Applejack Hospitality (also Rafi, June’s Shoppe and Bopp and Tone), the beloved tavern underwent an extensive refresh in 2021 by Guru Projects, complete with lush greenery and a cocktail bar – and is ready for the next 100.

Head of culinary Patrick Friesen (formerly Queen Chow) helms the kitchen, which slings wholesome and comforting plates. Perhaps the most generous is the aptly named Big Yorkie – a giant Yorkshire pudding filled with Forrester’s roast of the week, golden potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy. “I have always loved the Yorkshire puddings as a rule but to me it always feels like there’s never enough pudding to soak up the gravy. This was kind of the perfect solution to that,” says Friesen.

Other highlights include roasted turmeric cauliflower salad with green shallot, miso, chilli and mint; a roast chook with corn on the cob, salad and hot sauce; and a plant-based burger with vegan cheese, pickles, burger sauce, lettuce, tomato and chips.

Love bottomless booze? Of course you do. The Forrester’s one features a drink on arrival, two hours of bottomless bubbles and beers, plus a shared feast – for $89 per person. The thirsty deal is available Monday to Sunday for groups of four and more. Plus, you can put your knowledge to the test at the weekly trivia nights each Wednesday.

Read on for our original review of Forrester's by Elizabeth McDonald from 2021. 


The Forresters is one of those mainstays of Surry Hills pubdom that no matter how hard anyone tried to upgrade it, it remained a staunchly loveable local watering hole. The latest facelift, unveiled in 2020, has come care of the Applejack Hospitality group, which runs the Butler, the Botanist in Kirribilli and SoCal. They've applied a little magic pixie dust, but not too much, to the bones of this corner hotel, giving the dining room a botanical facelift, and the public bar a spit and polish, revealing its best self without wiping out its unkempt charms. They've kept the exposed beams and wooden floors and added more timber cladding around the bar. It's rustic and practical and the right speed for a venue that gets quite rowdy when the Swans win down at the SCG. 

The kitchen team, headed up by Laura Trello and overseen by Patrick Friesen, (ex-Queen Chow) have also added the Yorkshire pudding to end all Yorkshire puddings to its daily menu. This plate-sized monster serves essentially as a bowl for your roast dinner, and it's not just for Sundays either. What surely strikes a chord of nostalgia with ex-pats from Mother England is potentially lost on many Aussies (why are we adding pancakes to a roast dinner? Oh well, do it for the 'gram). While the Yorkie may be a gimmicky crowdpleaser, it's far from the star of the show. The starter of seaweed cured ocean trout, cultured cream and lemon jam on charred toast is an absolute standout and paired with a groovy skin contact white from Alpha Box and Dice in South Australia creates a perfectly acceptable desert island dish.

Things are nudged up a few notches at the newly renovated dining room, Phylli's. You can book brunches in the beautiful garden area, or order lunch or dinner under the baskets of hanging plants. The daily bottomless rosé lunch option is killer – for $79, you'll start with a rosé Spritz, move on to a shared feast featuring spiced chilli lamb skewersmozzarella croquettes, crumber snapper with tartare, and a lot more – all set to the background tune of endless rosé, of course, when you head in between noon-3pm and book for at least four people.  

If you're just going à la carte, the Phylli's menu also features the likes of mussels with sweet corn, pancetta, and dill in a corn and bacon broth; crumbed snapper with chips; and arguably the MVP of the roast dinner, a whole head of cauliflower with cheese sauce. On most days the steaks are a higher-end choice – both the wagyu rump and the sirloin clock in close to $30 – but on Mondays, as tradition dictates, there is still a $10 steak and chips special when you order a drink.

Make a booking at the Forresters website here. 

Avril Treasure
Written by
Avril Treasure


Cnr Foveaux and Riley St
Surry Hills
Opening hours:
Mon-Wed 11.30am-11pm; Thu 11.30am-midnight; Fri, Sat 11.30am-1am; Sun 11.30am-10pm
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