In the suburb where I grew up, the local pub had a men-only bar, so you’ll have to forgive my tendency to view this new breed of cosy, country-kitchen style pub as progressive. Regardless, it’s the perfect place to spend a miserable Monday night when the arduous week stretching ahead has you both beat. On the one I dined, it was filled with couples communing with each other and the world, their faces lit by the faint bluish glow of their smart phone screens. They’re enjoying the sort of food Chef Mitch Davis (ex-Blue Gum Hotel) likes to eat, from juicy trios of tasty Beef Sliders ($12) with BBQ relish and cheese, to a comforting yet Deconstructed Beef Mushroom and Ale Pie ($22) plonked unceremoniously on a board alongside creamy mash and pea puree. Mitch is also a big fan of sustainability, as you’ll gather from his Tin of Ortiz Anchovies with Cayenne Pepper, Lemon and Artisanal Bread ($18). You can also wrap your laughing gear around his Wattleseed Crusted Kangaroo Fillet ($26); best served up rare, with accompanying sweet potato, ginger chutney and ale jus. So it’s perfectly fitting that a middy of Pink Lady Cider ($5) wraps up my adventure into this brave, new world.
The Duck Inn
74 Rose Street, Chippendale
Ph: (02) 9319 4415 www.theduckinnpubandkitchen.com
Pub Bistro $$-$$$