Last month notorious Darlinghurst pub East Village reopened its doors after a complete refurb and locals have been flocking to it like Australians to beer ever since.
From the crafty guys behind West Village in Petersham, this soon-to- be inner city institution is made up of a Public Bar, Athletic Club and Rooftop Terrace.
Being a Darlinghurst local myself, I pretty much lined up at the front door for weeks, keen as a bean, ready to pull up a chair at the bar for some modern pub grub and a glass (or three) of vino.
The Public Bar at East Village is better known as the Wine Pub. Yes, that means exactly what you think it does – it’s a pub that specialises in wine. Glorious, glorious wine. There’s a hanging wine board showcasing the rotating weekly selection, and as the wine becomes available (the offer changes throughout the day), the board lights up. They also serve wine cocktails (which are super fruity and just the right amount of strong) and a solid range of tap beer for those who prefer a frothy.
The food menu on the ground floor might not be as extensive as the accompanying wine list but that doesn’t mean the food’s not bloody delicious. The Chicken Caesar Croquettes are gourmet chicken nuggets IRL and the Israeli Cous Cous is as tasty as it is healthy.
While the Kransky Hot Dog and Grilled Flank Steak are forever going to be guaranteed hits, the Roast Hake Fillet has got to be the stand out. Served with spicy green lentils and pickled cucumber salad, this delicious fish dish is fresh to death and like nothing I’ve ever eaten at the average Aussie pub (but as you can probably tell, there’s nothing average about East Village).
Upstairs you’ll find The Athletic Club aka a sports lover’s paradise. Decked out like an old-school gentlemen’s club, with leather booths, TVs playing sport and every dark spirit ever invented, it’s one place I could easily get lost in - and I don’t even like sport that much.
Keep climbing the stairs and you’ll find yourself on the rooftop (set to open in the next couple of weeks). With a different menu to the offerings downstairs, expect cocktails and light bites, designed specifically for the summer.
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Image credit: Federica Portentoso