We took a short drive whilst in Sydney to Scarborough, which is about 70 mins South of Sydney. The Scarborough hotel is a gorgeous old building built in 1886, it has a stunning outdoor terrace with a beautiful view of endless water and sunshine. It’s very child friendly, and kids can run around on the grass whilst the adults sit and have lunch, drink and soak in the sun!
After we found a table to seat outside, we went back in to order our food. There’s no table service, it’s pretty much all self service. The menu is your typical pub food which consists of salads, pasta, burgers and steak. There’s even a kids menu which was quite decent.
It was a gorgeous day so we opt to sit outside, however, there were a LOT OF FLIES! My bro, F, and dad wanted the steak – scotch fillet, 300g fed beef served with chips and leaf salad with a choice of mushroom or pepper sauce. The beef was cooked to perfection and it was incredibly tender.
A favourite amongst the diners was the linguini pasta with sautéed prawns, chorizo and napolitana salsa. It was a pretty decent serving and the pasta was cooked to perfection.
I couldn’t go past the special – beef burger with the lot! It was one of the biggest burgers I have eaten, two beef patties, cheese, tomato, salad, aioli and drizzled with a little bit of chili sauce. I have to admit it was messy but it was good and extremely satisfying. Oh there was also beetroot which I LOVE!
Dragon had her own meal (and also stealing every body else’s chips!) Linguini bolognaise and it was a very large serving for a 2 year old! She ate half of it which was impressive, and I have to say, it was pretty good!
Service was minimal, food was pretty decent I thought and the view was stunning. It was great to be outdoors eating and catching up with family. Good 1/2 day trip with friends and family.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
The Scarborough Hotel
383 Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Scarborough NSW 2515
Ph: +61 2 4267 5444
It’s definitely been a while since I ate at the pub. Prior to having Dragon, ‘The Mother’ and I would eat at the pub at least once a week for trivia, and catching up with friends. To be honest, I have missed that pub grub – the chicken schnitzel, the $10 steak, and the pies. ‘The Mother’ and I thought we would go to Stanley for lunch and have pub grub.
There are a number of pubs to choose from in Stanley – it’s not a place i go often but I don’t mind the markets and I have found an uber cool store that sells children toys and furniture at Stanley Plaza!
Pickled Pelican can be found on the main strip facing the water. ‘The Mother’ has been here a couple of times and suggested we go here. The place was packed when we rocked up, but we found a seat inside but close enough to the door for some fresh air.
The menu consisted everything you could think off for pub grub – burgers, schnitzel, ribs, chicken wings, you name it, they had it! I couldn’t go past the chicken schnitzel with fries, lemon and cucumber salad. The problem with getting chicken schnitzel at pubs is that the chicken tends to be dry and over coated but this was perfect. Even Dragon couldn’t resist eating some and the lemon and cucumber salad was a wonderful complement.
‘The Mother’ ordered the herbed beef tenderloin skewer with potatoes, and greek salad. The beef was surprisingly tender and who can say no to greek salad.
It was a casual lunch and the place was perfect for kids, they even had kids plastic cutlery which was a bonus. After lunch, we walked around the plaza and got Dragon a sofa bed which she utterly loves. Who wouldn’t? i wouldn’t mind one either!
It was a gorgeous sunny day, bit on the humid side, but nothing an ice cream or cold drink couldn’t fix. Think we will be back to Stanley to check out the other pubs.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
1/F, 90 Stanley Main Street,
Stanley, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2108 4467
I remember going to Duck Inn a while ago, before its major face lift, I thought it was a very dodgy, blokey, seedy pub. However, the new renovations has that B&B or homey feel to it which I like. I love the rustic but yet modern furniture especially the bookcase wall paper – I had originally thought they were actually bookcases!
The Duck Inn can be found on Rose Street in Chippendale. The chef behind this pub is Chef Mitch Davis (ex-Blue Gum Hotel) and he has created a menu that is up-market pub grub which changes seasonally.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Duck Inn with Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity.
Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, I couldn’t decide what I wanted but the deconstructed beef mushroom and ale pie with creamy mash, pea puree and puff pastry ($22) had my name on it.
The beef extremely tender and the puff pastry extremely flaky and crunchy!
I loved the creamy mash and pea puree – it was a hearty dish and perfect for winter.
Chloe couldn’t go past the beetroot ravioli with blue cheese ($19). I have never had beetroot ravioli and oh my, the colour of the ravioli was just beautiful. The blue cheese was subtle and complemented the beetroot ravioli – I was totally and utterly impressed. It was light and absolutely divine.
We also shared the roast pumpkin salad with rocket, goats cheese, toffee walnuts and honey balsamic ($16) – very colourful and incredibly tasty.
Unfortunately, I was too full for dessert, however, the sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and double cream sounds excellent. So does the chocolate and raspberry brulee – yum!
There is a beer garden at the back which is lovely for summer or spring when the weather is warmer. They have trivia on Monday nights, Uno on Tuesday nights from memory. It’s a great little pub in Chippendale, definitely worth checking out. No doubt we will be back for the food and trivia of course.
*GA dined as a guest thanks to Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen
74 Rose Street
Ph: +61 2 9319 4415
4Fourteen is the new venture by Colin Fassnidge who also owns Four in Hand and the Paddington Arms. I have been waiting patiently for this new restaurant to open and finally on opening night, I ‘dragged’ my eating partner in crime, S to dinner.
4Fourteen is located on the corner of Bourke and Fitzroy, where the old Le Pain Quotidien used to be. It has been ‘a long time in the making’ says Colin and the fit out is absolutely fantastic – a cross between Four in Hand and Paddington Arms. Its spacious, lots of seats and also bar seats near the kitchen where you can see the chef in action – where S and I sat.
We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of food, it was opening night after all and no one has seen a menu. But I knew food will be fantastic and Four in Hand is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. The menu vast, I’m sure there will be something for everyone, it ranged from seafood, meat, salads and dessert.
Both our eyes were drawn to ‘suckling pig’ and knew we had to get it! No doubt about it. Another one that caught our eye was ‘Irish Breakfast’ – we weren’t sure what that was, so asked Richie, one of the Chef and as soon as he described it, we both said yes!
We started with complimentary chicken wings, parfait, crispy tortilla and quince chutney (usually $7.50 for 4) and they were delicious. Crispy tortilla, the chicken wings were cooked to perfection, crispy and tender and the sweet quince chutney was a wonderful addition!
The Irish Breakfast ($22), consisted of duck egg with prosciutto, chorizo and black pudding. The duck egg was creamy and incredible, the black pudding was tasty and the prosciutto and chorizo was a wonderful complement. S and I were in awe at how creamy the duck egg yolk was – it was so good I wanted more!
Our favourite dish, suckling pig with prunes, sage, pistachio pesto and cabbage salad ($32) topped with pork crackle was seriously incredible! The tender pork, the crispy skin, the generous serving of prunes and dollops of pistachio pesto – Oh em geeee – I was in pork heaven! I could eat it every day, marry it perhaps?
Colin is famous for his colcannon ($9) – by far ONE OF THE BEST I have eaten in Sydney. It was deliciously creamy and deliciously orgasmic!
We were getting full by this stage but couldn’t go past dessert. We would usually order one between two but our stomach were definitely bigger than our eyes and we ordered TWO desserts to share. Firstly, the deconstruction bounty ($16), a popular dessert, and quite similar to the deconstruction snickers at Four in Hand was absolutely marvelous! Chocolate coated vanilla ice cream, with jelly, and white chocolate. I don’t know what kind of jelly it was but it was SO good that we both polished it off.
Donut and apple ($16) sounded different and a popular one as we were told. Three small round donuts which were light and fluffy and a jar which consisted of creamy panna cotta, and apple was good but I think the bounty won both of us over.
Everything on the menu looked good, I am definitely keen to go back to try the crumbed pigs tail, and some of the other fish dish and of course to try the chilled ginger rice pudding with warm stewed rhubarb – such a hearty and warm winter dessert!
Service was excellent, there were so many wait staff and kitchen staff. Food was beyond expectation but then again, I expected nothing less! I am a tad bias though, I have always been a fan of Four in Hand, so will definitely be back. 4Fourteen is a WONDERFUL addition to the Surry Hills restaurant community, so dangerous that it is only 15 minutes walk from where we live! YIKES! I would definitely recommend making a reservation, it was a full house on opening night!
GA’s ratings: 9 / 10
414 Bourke Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9331 5399
Paddington Arms which is located on the busy street of Oxford Street in Paddington is the new venture for the two-hatted Four in Hand restaurant, Colin Fassnidge. Together with one of his old sous chefs, Neil Thompson , they have created a menu that is quite similar to Four in Hand, promoting nose to tail eating with a more relaxed feel.
I quite like what they have done to the place, the spacious area and the booths, it’s indeed very casual and a great place to hang out with friends over a nice meal. Now the food is no ordinary pub grub – it has an English / Irish twist to it, I really enjoy the food at Four in Hand, so had high expectations and it did not disappoint.
I was meeting with the lovely suzchef. We have heard wonderful things about this place and we are both HUGE fans of Four in Hand. We thought we would share a couple of dishes and we are SO glad that we did – not sure how anyone could have finished it on its own!
We both couldn’t go past the roast pork belly with potato, apple and sage salad ($23) – oh my goodness. Come to my belly pork belly!
The crispy skin, it was perfect. The pork succulent and seriously fatty, too fatty for S but I certainly enjoyed it. The crisp apple, potato and sage salad were a wonderful compliment.
We also ordered the braised beef ribs with pickled cabbage ($25), WOW – it was a HUGE serving!
The beef was so tender that it just fell off the bone and melted in your mouth. It was relatively rich, heavy and winter comfort food!
The pickled cabbage with corn really complimented the beef well. I loved the wedges, crunchy on the outside and soft pillowy inside. I don’t know how anyone can finish this dish on their own, I struggled to finish my own piece.
Uncle and E went a week earlier, E had the ribs, but uncle ordered the house made beef burger with grated horseradish and onion relish and chips ($20). We were tempted to order this, but the beef ribs and pork belly won. It does look superb though – will definitely order that next time.
They also ordered seared bonito with pickled cucumbers, seaweed and radishes ($16) – uncle’s photos are always soo good!
I really like the food here, the atmosphere, it can get rather rowdy at night though. We were both TOO full for dessert, but it’s a good excuse to come back, try different dishes and have dessert. I think Colin and Neil have done an exceptional job! Seriously fantastic food, and looking forward to coming back soon.
*Photos with no GA watermark are taken by my Uncle.
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
384 Oxford Street
Ph: +61 2 9360 9668
The Carrington – Specialite: Beba y Cene has been on my list of places to go. It is a casual pub that serves Spanish and Tapas like food. I don’t remember what this place was like prior, it is right opposite Il Barreto, but Chef Jamie Thomas has created a new menu – pub grub with a Spanish touch.
I was catching up with S and suggested this place, he too has wanted to try this place for a while now. We rocked up for lunch at about 12.30pm and the place was relatively empty. The menu is vast, plenty to choose from, from snacks to salads, to mains, to sandwiches, burgers and even lunch time specials.
We started with the special – $10 plate which consists of crumbed mussels, tuna tostadia and pork belly slider. It had us both at ‘pork belly slider’.
Three perfectly round crumbed mussels which were beautifully cooked. Similar to a croquet, it was lightly battered, and the mussels with the slight chilli sauce was absolutely delicious. One ball each was definitely not enough.
The tuna tostadia I didn’t have, but I was informed that it was fresh and wonderful.
We were both in awe when we saw the pork belly slider – but only one? We had to share? Tender pork belly meat, on a slightly toasted bun – this was fantastic and I think we both could have at least eaten three of these little babies each!
Next came the spicy basque wings ($10). Served in a terracotta dish, marinated in spicy tomato sauce and slightly grilled were a little disappointing. I don’t know if it’s the sauce, or the grill but I was a little underwhelmed. But after eating the pork belly slider, anything would have been disappointing.
We also couldn’t go past the Media Noche (Cuban midnight sandwich $12) – double decker, triple pork, cheese and mustard toasted sandwich. WOW! It was huge – three slices of white bread and in between, roast pork, ham and cheese toasted until it was crispy and cheese stringy. It was a monster of a sandwich, and it was good. Again not as good as the pork belly slider but it was scrumptious.
We were stuffed, the Cuban midnight snack really was filling and couldn’t fit dessert. Originally, I had planned to go to Bourke Street Bakery to get some of their tarts, but I was defeated. Even dinner consisted of an apple of some watermelon, I was still very full.
I am definitely keen to try dinner with friends over beers and cocktails. You can check out their website for specials, pintxos happy hour and even new outdoor seating. Service was friendly and efficient, although there were only half a dozen people. Food came out relatively quickly and I think they should definitely have the pork belly slider on the menu permanently!
GA’s rating: 7 / 10
563 Bourke Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 400 077 792
I vaguely remember coming to the Abercrombie Hotel Pub for quick beers before heading home during university days, but have not returned or remembered it existence since lately when I came here with E for some lunch time pub grub. For those who know this place well, the Abercrombie Hotel was very popular for its Friday night Purple Sneaker Parties, and has been leased to one of the Gang Bang DJ’s, Jaime Wirth.
The menu is very British I thought, I love the decor inside, the booth seating which is covered by different types of tartan, bookshelves filled with books and the cheeky paintings hung on the walls. I love booths, so automatically went to the first available.
Everything on the menu sounded delish, we started with mac n cheese balls ($12), four perfectly round balls, deep fried and served with a side of aioli.
Crunchy and crispy exterior, and inside, macaroni and gooey stringy cheese. It was tasty but definitely calorific!
We both couldn’t resist ordering the scotch egg slider ($6) – scotch eggs, mayonnaise on a mini roll. Incredibly cute – it was the tiniest and cutest burger I have seen in a long time!
The fried chicken burger ($10 – lunch menu), fried chicken, slaw, chili mayo and fries sounded awesome, however, it was a little disappointing. Thought the chicken was a little on the dry side however the slaw and chili mayo a wonderful complement.
E opted for the double cheese burger ($10) – double beef pattie, double cheese, pickles beetroot and tomato sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun. I had serious food envy – the burger looked absolutely fantastic!
The chips, I forgot to take a picture of it, but they were crinkle cut! Now you don’t see many places that serve crinkle cut chips so both E and I were in absolute heaven! She liked the soft and gooey one, I liked the thin, and crispy – worked quite well really!
The highlight of the Abercrombie hotel is supposedly their deep fried gay time. Now, after all the calorific food we just consumed, I really couldn’t stomach a deep fried gay time! I have heard mix reviews about this, some absolutely loved it, some questioned why you would take a good ice cream and deep fry it? It sounds wrong, I know but not doubt I will drag ‘The Mother’ in the coming weeks for some deep fried gay time and double cheese burger! I may need to work off all the indulgence from lunch first!
The Abercrombie Hotel is open to early hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with a DJ spinning tunes. They serve cheap eats with food ranging from $5 to $19 and $10 lunch specials and dinner specials every night – if you like tacos they have $3 tacos on Wednesdays from 6 – 10pm. Definitely a visit if you haven’t been but be ready to eat some highly calorific food! YUM!
Corner Of Broadway And Abercrombie St
Ph: +61 2 9281 6675