Recently refurbished, The Nash – one-time darling of the Paddo pub scene – is back in business. And it’s already attracting Paddington royalty, with Bruce Pollack spotted in a booth in the low-key front bar. It’s been gifted with a down-to-earth, hands-on publican in Lance Burrows (ex-Bar 333), one of a triumvirate of new owners who have all lived locally. “On a Saturday night you can come in and the three of us will be having a beer in the front bar,” Lance explains. Out back Woods Bagot have created a spacious, relaxed and light-filled space that’ll take you through to dinner with a bottle of Squealing Pig Pinot Noir ($44). And to ensure you want to stay for tea, Burrows has nabbed Chef Martin Sutedja (ex-Ananas) and got him to put a contemporary spin on pub classics, without losing the steaks the venue’s always been famous for. Consequently, the 250g Bindaree Trinity Pasture-Fed Scotch Fillet ($27) makes for good eating, not least of which for the crisp shoestring fries and excellent Béarnaise to dip them in. Sutedja’s experience with seafood shows in Queensland Spanner Crab Tortellini ($28) and the even better Hiramasa Kingfish Tartare ($16). And his Beetroot Salad ($17) with goat’s cheese and pistachios is just what I want to be eating this summer.
The Grand National Hotel
161 Underwood Street, Paddington
Ph: (02) 9363 3096 thegrandnationalhotel.com.au
Pub Bistro $$$