As most of Sydney settled in to watch the new season of MasterChef unfold, I pondered the pressure points of a Scotch egg: a just-set yolk; intriguingly fresh flavours packed into a tasty, sausage meat shell; crisp, golden crumb. Good seasoning goes without saying. The Scotch Egg ($5) here has it all, so extricate yourself from the lounge into a wide, brown leather banquette. The cavernous room is warmly dotted with curiosities, from stuffed birds to pickling eggs. Wide tables ensure there is plenty of space to assemble a feast of Black Pudding and Crumbed Pork Rillettes ($14); Smoked Eel ($16) with bacon, chicory and zingy horseradish cream; and a hefty board of Onion Rings, Hot Sauce and Coleslaw ($9). I smile at the sheer pub-food pleasure of crisp, airy batter encasing sweet, fat onion loops. The eel and blood sausage on the other hand, are thoroughly modern, balancing full, heady flavours against juicy, green apple. They soar with the ‘Le Bine’ Soave ($58) from Ollie Tucker’s ripper list. His silver Brit tongue sells the dishes too, getting me into bed with a tasty Pork Chop ($25) resting on a mattress of ham hock and pearl barley, before an achingly creamy Rice Pudding ($14) makes this pub my new local.
Paddington Arms Hotel
384 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: (02) 9360 9668 www.paddoarms.com.au
British/Pub Bistro/Bar Food $$-$$$