Just when we thought Sydney’s nightlife was on its last legs, last December the dream team behind Mary’s, Porteno and Young Henry’s had us rejoicing with the resurrection of an iconic Aussie venue, The Unicorn Hotel in Sydney’s east.
Since then, us and punters alike have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the venue’s bistro—the icing on the delicious cake for the pub’s refurbishment.
Former bar manager of MoVida Aqui, Max Walker is heading up the bistro, ensuring that the dining space, which occupies the whole lower level of the pub, remains relaxed and informal. The menu has been put together by head chef Richie Learmonth (previously Porteno) and has been carefully curated to pay tribute to classic Australian pub culture. Throughout winter, you can expect to see things like roast pork, lamb chops and rice pudding gracing the menu—nothing like a bit of comfort food to get us through the cooler months.
Upstairs remains the raucous public bar, with the exact same menu offered throughout. Here people are given buttered white bread before their meals… it’s like dining at your Grandma’s on a Sunday, although now you’re surrounded by beer on tap. And, as for the beer, the inner city pub still offers some old school faves, including Resch’s, Coopers, VB and XXXX as well as Young Henry’s cider and a decent list of Aussie wine staples.
If you’re after a pub that is going to have you ducking in for a win on the pokies between rounds, think again, because this isn’t the place. Instead, you can find yourself throwing darts or putting coins on the table to score your place in the next game of pool. Throughout July, local Sydney boys Papa Pilko and the Bin Rats will also be taking up residency at The Unicorn every Thursday, turning the venue into a good old rock ‘n roll den.
So if you’re stuck for things to cook this week and you’re in the mood for a good feed in unpretentious surrounds, then the bistro at The Unicorn in Paddington might need to become your new go-to.
Image credit: Federica Portentoso