4 Pines Underground opens a new subterranean restaurant.
Tucked directly underneath Manly’s original micro brewery is the new 4 Pines Underground. Make the short descent down the stairs and you’ll soon notice a large, Game of Thrones inspired wooden table. It takes centre stage in this cabin-like fit out. In true medieval fashion, men can be found clinking beers and tucking into mammoth steaks. A series of suspending lights emit a warm, comforting glow. It certainly feels cosy down here.
Brewery Co-founder Sheree Mitchell took up the challenge to rework the former restaurant, Out of Africa, a restaurant that has been in Manly since the dawn of time. What was an uninspiring, outdated space has now been transformed into a funky 100 seater restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.
We start our evening with a round of cocktails. Beer cocktails! It makes perfect sense considering the setting. We were pleased to see that all cocktails cost $14, a reasonable price compared to the usual $18-$22 price tag at many Sydney bars. I opt for the Indian Summerita, made with Don Julio Blanco Tequila, fresh lime, blood orange syrup topped with Indian Summer Ale. It makes for a refreshing start to the evening and isn’t too sickly sweet. The bitter undertones of the lager contrasted against the acidity of the lime and distinctive flavour of tequila reminds me of a margarita. Almost.
My date orders the Coffee Stout Martini. Playing on the highly popular espresso martini, this one features cold-drip coffee vodka and Mr Black liquor, with homemade chocolate stout bitters, topped with a nitro stout head. These drinks are clever, especially since Manly has always seemed to lack the ‘man cocktail’ already well established in other parts of Sydney. Lychee martinis from Insitu and Frosé at Manly Wine Bar, although delicious, have for a long time saturated the local market. Men rejoice, 4 Pines Underground is fighting back!
Scanning the food menu, I notice some of the popular items from the upstairs brewery. The ‘peckish’ list offers a mish mash of sharing platters, including a Ploughman’s platter, served with serrano ham, salami, smoked chorizo, vintage cheddar, blue vein cheese, mustard pickle and housemade stout bread ($24). Other tasty starters include the smoked chorizo ($12) and mini pork burgers ($15). The ‘hungry’ menu is designed for those with much bigger appetites and comprises of classic pub food favourites with some lighter, less typical fan fare. One such item is the trout gravilax, served on a bed of sweet potato with fennel and orange, lime and soy ($25).
We start with the szechuan squid, served with lime aioli, coriander, fried onion and fresh chilli ($15). Not sure what to expect, we soon discover that the squid is coated in a spice mix before being deep fried. The effect is a tangy, flavourful take on the classic salt and pepper squid. Beneath the squid is a generous spread of lime aioli.
For mains we order the tomohawk steak ($36). Be warned, this dish is not for the faint hearted! I am soon met with 400 glorious grams of delicious steak, served on the bone. The meat is exceptionally tender and cooked perfectly. Served alongside the meat is a light, well-dressed salad and some horseradish cream. My very hungry partner orders the half kilo of brisket ($45). Don’t be fooled, this is designed for 2 people. If you are up for the challenge though, we implore you to give it a red hot go. Like his steak counterpart, the brisket is cooked very well. Cutting through the sheer gluttony of the meat is a light apple & fennel salad. Be sure to dip your meat in the chipotle sauce provided. You’ll take a trip to the smokehouses of America without ever leaving your table.
Not just a dinner destination, 4 Pines Underground is also open for breakfast from 7am daily. We had a look at the menu and it look good. We’ll be back next week for the Cubano Jaffle and complimentary beer taster!
4 Pines Brewing Company | Manly Underground
43-45 East Esplanade, Manly NSW 2095
02 9976 2300
Open Monday to Sunday 7am till late