Park House Food and Liquor, Mona Vale Review

Eat, Sydney / 13 December 2017

Park House Food and Liquor opens in Mona Vale.

As the English phrase goes, “good things come to those who wait”, and for Mona Vale residents their patience has paid off with the opening of Park House Food and Liquor. It’s taken a few years to transform the Mona Vale Hotel into a contemporary multi-purpose dining and social experience. And while it’s a few more months away from being final ‘tools down’ the vision is clear and the bones are there for a new local favourite.
The industrial and contemporary interiors enhance the buildings architectural features. Light in colour with timber and marble accents they create an open plan dining area that feels cosy and comfortable. Some cheeky artworks decorate the walls and there are plenty of welcoming spaces, tempting you sit, chat and sip. The free-standing bar in the centre of the restaurant is eye-catching and the atmosphere is buzzing without feeling overcrowded or too noisy.
We started our meal with the applewood smoked labneh, with Fresh Peach, guajillio chilli and roasted pistachios ($14), it’s an interesting mix of flavours and a good example of the Mexican, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences on the menu. The fresh baked lavosh with nigella seeds give the starter a crunch to counter the creaminess of the labneh, and the spice and smoke keep you coming back for another dip. There’s a good selection of craft beers on tap, a few more in bottles and a reasonable wine list to enjoy.
We couldn’t pass up the wood roasted Fremantle octopus cooked twice, and served with mole verde, yoghurt and red cabbage salad ($24). Beautifully cooked the octopus melts in your mouth. It’s a dish well-paired with the Zucchini herb fritters (4pcs) served with sumac yoghurt and coriander ($14). The presentation is lovely and has a crunchy exterior and gooey filing, and you can easily upsize with extra fritters at ($3) each. For larger plates, we enjoyed the harissa spiced wood roasted chicken with tahini yoghurt, pickles, herb salsa (H$16/ Full $39). The half size was generous for two people and you could easily upsize to a full serve if you had a larger group of hungry bellies.
We paired the chicken with the ash roasted pumpkin served with feta, almonds and salsa verde ($14). It’s a substantial dish and nutritious vegetarian addition to the menu. Don’t we all need some delicious inspiration to dress up our five-a-day veggie serve? While the salsa is delicious it seems to be a star ingredient on a lot of dishes. Choose wisely or after a while everything may start to taste the same.
If you’re not watching the waistline and tempted by the ‘afterthought’ options, you simply must indulge with the Epic Chocolate Fudge Brownie with Salted Caramel Popcorn ($12) which as the name suggests is quite ‘epic’, but it’s definitely one to share.
Park House Food & Liquor is the latest venue to open by hospitality group The Sydney Collective (Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Daniel San). It’s clear the they know how to pull together a winning formula. Great fit out- tick, good accessible food- tick, solid drinks list – tick. For a venue that’s only been open a few months they’ve also had a lot of controversial press. Their menu has been accused of reading far too similar to Pazar Food Collective in Canterbury, a small restaurant with a huge cult following. I haven’t been to Pazar Food Collective so can’t comment on that but as a stand alone venue Park House Food & Liquor ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a great addition to Mona Vale and I’m sure the locals will rejoice. That said, there are a lot of awesome, unique restaurants to distract you before you get here if you’re not from the Northern Beaches.
The Park House Food & Liquor
2 Park Street, Mona Vale NSW
(02) 8998 3000
Golden Lounge
Open 10am-late
Park House Food Merchants
Restaurant | Mon to Thu 4pm-10pm + Fri to Sun 11am-10pm
Garden Bar | Mon to Sat 11am-late + Sun 11am-10pm