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The Forresters

  • Restaurants
  • Surry Hills
  • Recommended
  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 had a flash new fit-out and the Yorkshire pudding to end them all

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. 

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald


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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