Restaurants should be afraid when local pubs like this recently refurbished beauty, can offer up heaving plates of good quality, nicely-cooked produce with provenance listed on the menu, for under fifteen bucks! The best dish I ate was a set of Tuscan Pork and Truffle Sausages ($12.50) – made using Bangalow Sweet Pork and Tuscan summer truffles – set on creamy mash with caramelised onion and red wine jus. For the princely sum of fifteen bucks you can also enjoy a pair of well-rendered Duck Marylands in Asian Sauce ($15); or a decent slab of Twice Cooked Pork Belly ($15) with nice little tatties, braised cabbage and a thick demi-glace that failed to unite the dish – it’s worth ordering regardless. A passing platter bearing 600 Day Grain Fed Cabassi & Rea Farm Wagyu Steak ($15) had me wishing I could fit in second dinner. It’s nice to see locals giving the six million dollar renovation the thumbs up after an eighteen-month closure that sensitively retains the classic Aussie pub feel downstairs, with a rather spiffy air-conditioned star-lit deck upstairs. It’s perfect for knocking back jugs of Pimms Coolie ($25), but if you order my coveted steak, throw in a glass of Aerins Vineyard GSM ($7/glass) – it’s an affable quaffer.
Strawberry Hills Hotel
452 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9699 3355 www.strawberryhillshotel.com.au
Pub Bistro $