The Village Inn brings old world charm and a flavoursome menu to Paddington.
It’s a Friday night and The Village Inn in Paddington is pumping with enthusiastic patrons ready to start their weekend. We take a seat downstairs on one of the leather chesterfield lounges and take in the renovation this heritage listed pub has been given in recent time. With plenty of exposed brick and low candles, antique boxing gloves and distressed wood the downstairs area feels very cosy and relaxed. From behind a large, clean bar sparkling with fairy lights, we peruse their cocktail menu. It’s packed with original creations and we were lucky enough to try some of the cocktails they’re trialling for the November summer menu launch. These included the Berry Passion and the fruity Apricot Margarita, as well as twists on the old classics including the iconic Pimms Jug. The Berry Passion is refreshing and if you close your eyes and sip you could almost think your drinking old fashioned lemonade from a country fair.
To help soak up the fruity liqueur we order a charcuterie board ($30) which was piled with prosciutto, salami, silverside, pickles, artichokes, tomatoes and a ceramic basket of lightly-toasted baguette slices. It’s simple, easy drinking food and perfect for nibbling amongst friends.
But we’re not just nibbling tonight, it’s Friday and we’re hungry, thirsty and ready to see what The Village Inn has got. Steamed dumplings ($18) bursting with juicy prawns are next on the agenda served with fried shallots and a ginger-and-soy dressing. They are quickly followed by the highlight of the starter menu, mushroom arancini served with aioli ($15). Lightly fried and filled with mushroom risotto, the arancini are the perfect combination of crunchy exterior, smooth inside.
Maddy, the cocktail waitress with a winning smile and a strong pour, brings us the next round of cocktails – the GNC and the caramel-infused Espresso Martini. According to the manager of The Village Inn, Andrea, “if you’re only going to order one cocktail, then this should be the one”. Made with gin, elderflower liqueur, soda water, cucumber syrup, sugar syrup and a hint on mint, the GNC truly tastes like summer in a glass.
With more drinking comes more eating and a simple bruschetta, made with tomato and roasted peppers served on toasted garlic bread ($14). Incase you hadn’t noticed yet the drinking and the eating go hand in hand at The Village Inn. The food is designed to be perfect for snacking with a cocktail in one hand including the bucket of sweet potato fries ($12).
For those after more of a sit down meal and dinner over wine with friends they’ve got that covered. Mains include the pasta of the day ($26), crispy skin salmon ($34) and osso bucco ($36). They also have a grill section on the menu with steaks ranging from $24 to $44. The wine list is short but sweet making it easy to select the perfect glass (or bottle) to match your meal.
We’re told by Andrea that the dessert menu at The Village Inn changes daily according to the mood of the chef and often sell out within the first few hours of the evening. Lucky for us his mood has translated into a delicious tiramisu on this occasion. It’s made with Italian savoiardi (lady-finger style biscuits), cream, coffee, chocolate and a dash of port.
Other draw cards for The Village Inn include their awesome $15 Bloody Mary’s and Aperol Spritz on Sundays and the fact that their bar staff are willing to invent original cocktails – just for you – on the spot!
The Village Inn
9-11 Glenmore Rd, Paddington, NSW 2021
02 9331 0911
Open every day from noon.