What a difference 90 years and 40 storeys makes! This beautiful beer cafe is housed in a restored 1914 St Patrick’s Girls’ School hall, sympathetically integrated with the neighbouring Cove Apartments designed by Harry Seidler and finished in 2004. Start your Belgian beer adventure with Stella Artois ($9/330ml). Its silky mouth feel and creamy mousse come courtesy of staff being ”trained in the ritual – the nine steps of pouring Stella Artois,” explains Manager Gonzalo Burgos. He’s a Gallagher Hotels stalwart who’s been brought over to settle in their latest acquisition. As he takes me through a matched food and beer journey he explains: “Belgian beers are all about cleanliness.” My favourite was Leffe Blonde ($9/250ml) with a distinctive clove note that made it the perfect companion to Abbey Cheese Croquettes ($15) with pear jam. The sweet jam made a nice counterpoint to Homemade Duck Rillettes ($18) with sharp pickles (including pickled green olives) and fluffy rye bread, accompanied by Duval ($13.50/330ml). The house speciality is Moule Kilo Pots ($30) of Kinkawooka (SA) mussels; I take mine ‘Roquefort’ with Chardonnay, cream and spinach. They’re not bad with Peche Lambic ($13/330ml) – probably the nicest fruit beer I’ve tried – which also suits a salad of Brussels Sprouts, Roast Duck, William Pear, Hazelnuts and Honey Vinaigrette ($26).
Heritage Belgian Beer Café
135 Harrington Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9241 1775 heritagebarandrestaurant.com.au
Pub Bistro, Belgian $$$$