“Our son’s Italian greyhound can sit right there,” a couple at a neighbouring table explains, as they fill me in on why they frequent the new-look Annandale Hotel. Besides canines in the courtyard (that’s styled like an Aussie back deck), the inclusion of vegetarian options – particularly the Grilled Portobello Mushroom ($16) – are the drawcards. Even kiddies are welcome, except in the front bar, which retains some of the Annandale’s sticky carpet charm – at least around the edges. Speaking as someone who visited during the crowded, sweaty, live band days, it feels like a half-gutted pub. Now there’s elbowroom to spare as you quaff a Kosciusko and tuck into a toastie from their interesting list. I tried Fontal ($12) with duck sausage, bacon jam and pickled leek. It’s great, and available late into the night as a condition of their license, though it’s questionable how late acoustic nights rock on. Traditional pub goers will appreciate the steaks, schnitzels and two fully customisable roasts. Free Range Chicken ($20) with duck fat gratin, gravy and seasonal greens will silence a monster appetite. Slabs of purple Congo potato on the Fremantle Octopus Salad ($15) didn’t quite work for me. I preferred the Roasted Duck Yorkie ($4) and Short Rib Empanada ($2.50) with my Alliance Loire Rose ($11/glass).
17 Parramatta Road, Annandale
Ph: (02) 9550 1078 annandalehotel.com
Pub Bistro, Wine $$