Some people have pubs in their blood; fourth generation hotelier Kim Maloney is a prime example. The first pub he bought was the Student Prince, which has morphed into Sydney’s most glamorous bordello: Stiletto. He now operates Sydney’s St. James, Maloney’s, Sanctuary and Shark hotels, plus The Clock Hotel in sunny Queensland. It follows then that his newly renovated Star Bar is a slick operation, drawing influence from hotspots like Melbourne’s Silk Road. The $2 million facelift contains references to the building’s previous inhabitants Planet Hollywood, and 1930s predecessor Plaza Cinema, with a 62-seat cinema in the original style. “I’m a great meat eater, I love my steaks, the 400g Rib Eye ($33) here is beautiful,” says Kim. It should be – his kitchen coup is 2014 Best Steak winner Danny Russo. Russo supplements the meat with modern Italianate dishes from heaving Antipasto Platters ($17) to Verdura Pizza ($16), to a fun Russolini Parma Burger ($17) boasting crumbed Angus patty, melted mozzarella and Napoli sauce. Bring friends to go the whole hog with his Italian Family Feast ($38/person). Russo sagely advises: “drawstring pants are a prerequisite” if you intend to add on a Slow Roasted Suckling Pig ($420/whole). Groaning, I concur. It eats well with Birra Moretti ($7.50) and lovely Italian Slaw ($6).
600 George Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9267 7827 starbar.com.au
Pub Bistro, Modern Italian, Pizza $$