By now you’ve probably enjoyed a late-night tipple or two at the Rover, the sophisticated Surry Hills bar that underwent a transformation in 2022. Now, the team have unveiled the final part of the renovation, upstairs: a British-inspired seafood bistro with produce so fresh, as if it's just been plucked from the ocean.
Part of the Liquid and Larder group, the new restaurant is an extension of the Rover – in terms of both the menu and décor – and sees executive chef Pip Pratt (Bistecca, the Gidley) drawing on his childhood growing up in the UK to create a relaxed coastal menu, where creatures of the sea are the stars of the show.
Oyster lovers, you’re in for a treat. Each week a rotation of the finest molluscs found on the east coast will be on offer, including Clair de Lune oysters from Batemans Bay and Sydney rock oysters from Merimbula. We say order a dozen and gobble them up.
You'll also find a daily haul of crustaceans displayed on the bar. Things like whole scampi, yabbies and jumbo prawns. Once ordered, the seafood will be gently poached and served cold alongside your choice of sauce: wakame mayo, Marie Rose or hot butter. Choose one or all three and double dip your way into seafood heaven.
Other highlights on the menu include raw scallops with horseradish cream, cucumber and dill oil; cuttlefish with almond gazpacho and black garlic; a must-order fisherman’s pie with smoked trout, vegetables and potato gratin; and a whole flathead with clams and garlic. A dish of chicken with mushrooms, silverbeet and lime sherry will be sure to please those who aren't keen on seafood.
To drink, the 50-bottle-strong wine list features organic and biodynamic drops, hand selected by sommelier Kyle Poole to pair perfectly with seafood. And seeing as the Rover is one of Sydney’s finest bars, the cocktails are also excellent. Seasonal options include the Hypermania with Don Julio Blanco tequila, passionfruit, dry sherry and ancho chilli, or choose from the Rover’s Favourites, such as the Darkbloom with Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, blackberry wine, coconut, black walnut and bitters.
Inside, exposed brick walls, a long brass bar, dark furniture and a plush, green velvet booth create a moody and charming vibe. If you visit in the afternoon, you’ll be treated to sunlight pouring in through the long windows.
With exceptional seafood, a slick dining room and some of the city’s finest drinks, the Rover's new restaurant may prove yet again that truly good things take time. Head along solo or with a group and you’ll be in for a very happy evening indeed.