“He was smoking, I was eating and racking…” Okay, overheard Eastern Suburbs conversations up on the “hidden” rooftop terrace with the epic view have a certain ruling class blasé about them… but you should hike up all those stairs and check it out anyway. Break your journey with a drink in the eye-catching red and black Elephant Bar – well unless you find the Ascham School parents monopolising it too… Afterwards, park in the white, salon-style bistro – it’s the work of BKH Architects who kitted out China Doll and Manly’s China Beach. While craft beer choices are limited – best I could find being James Squire One Fifty Lashes ($8.00/schooner) – this is the only pub where I’ve enjoyed Grant Burge ‘Holy Trinity’ ($15) by the glass. The chairs are comfortable – sinking into one inclined me to skip burgers, steaks and schnitzel for a grazing meal. After downing a dozen Natural Oysters ($30) I tackled the sharing plates, available in multiples of 1($10), 3 ($25) and 5 ($40). Duck Pancakes ($10) and Sizzling Garlic Prawns ($10) were favourites. Grilled Haloumi ($10) isn’t bad either, in fact visiting vegetarians will find smart salads and Grilled Field Mushrooms ($10) and Zucchini Fritters ($10). Slight hiccup: the last two were under-cooked on the night I dined.
The Royal Hotel
237 Glenmore Road, Paddington
Ph: (02) 9331 2604 royalhotel.com.au
Pub Bistro $$-$$$