Pubs are synonymous with Australian history. It’s nice to see a lot of dated drinking holes in Sydney are being renovated to attract new customers whilst still maintaining their charm.
The Charing Cross Hotel in Waverley is the latest to undergo a major face-lift. Originally founded in 1857 by ex-convict William Newland the building was once a popular hotel in the area but in recent years had slipped into the “old man pub” category.
A breath of life has been injected into this establishment returning The Charing Cross to its former glory with a new stylish interior inspired by contemporary beachside living and its relaxed coastal neighbourhood. The original art deco features are still present making this a warm and inviting pub, even on a packed Saturday night.
Inside the venue is split into casual pub style drinking and dining and a sixty-seat dining room with Chef Matt Kemp (ex-Balzac) heading up the kitchen. Kemp has created a contemporary European menu focusing on seasonal produce and simple ingredients.
Ordering cocktails in a pub is often a gamble but fear not, whoever designed the drinks list at this venue knows their sh*t. The wine list has both local and international drops while the cocktails are split into House Favourites at $17 a pop and Classics at $16.
You can’t go wrong with a good pre-dinner Negroni or Aperol Spritzer but take a chance and try some of the signature drinks. If you only order one drink make it the Blood Orange Margarita– hallelujah this drink is refreshing and zesty. It’s made with caramel tequila shaken with blood orange and finished with a smokey salt (that they smoke in house) around the rim. You could drink these all night, in fact you should, leave the car at home.
The menu is nice and simple with no overcomplicated descriptions and fancy ingredients for the sake of name-dropping. From the starters you can’t go past the crispy pigs head fritters slow braised with green apple and Japanese breadcrumbs. The crudo of ocean trout, shrimp and over roasted peppers is also worth a try.
For mains I order the steamed Palmers Island mulloway with herb puree and braised fennel. It’s a heavier than most fish dishes so substantial but I can’t help getting food envy when the grilled rib eye comes out. The thrice-cooked fries feel more like once cooked but who’s got room for fries when there’s dessert to try.
Don’t even bother with the other desserts go straight for the hot Snickers pudding with peanut fudge ice cream and caramel sauce. Best share this one it’s a fatties delight.
Be sure to make a booking in the dining room if you’re going Thurs-Sun. This is a popular place not only for the locals but visiting foodies.
Waverley NSW 2024 MON – THU 10am – midnight
FRI – SAT 10am – 2am
SUN 10am – 10pm