Review: Toby Stansfield Has Taken Over The Old Fitz, Woolloomooloo

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 19 July 2022

This inner-city pub has appointed Toby Stansfield as head chef and here’s our take on the new menu!

The Old Fitz in Woolloomooloo is a much-loved pub, restaurant and theatre all-in-one. They’ve recently updated their food offerings with the very talented Toby Stansfield taking over as head chef. This new chapter is an exciting and delicious one for the newly named restaurant, Bistro Fitz, and for Stansfield, who has culinary freedom designing his own menu to express his talent accumulated over the past few years from Yellow, Monopole and most recently Ciao Fabbrica.Bistro Fitz
French, Italian and Australian classics feature across the menu, and Stansfield said: “I have a mixed bag of experience and I’m excited to get creative and draw on it in lots of different ways. The Old Fitz is always a good time and I want to make really approachable and fun food that reflects this.”

The menu begins with nostalgic and approachable entrees like oysters with whisky and pickle mignonette ($5 each), LP’s saucisson sec with chilli honey ($14), and a delicious brioche toast with confit chicken, roast chicken mayonnaise and dill which tasted like a fancy chicken sandwich, and you definitely should get your own and not share, which we found after a bite ($8). The smaller dishes include a delicate beetroot tarte tartin with Holy Goat fromage fraise on top and puff pastry on the bottom ($17). There’s also an insalata di maré (seafood salad) with mussels, octopus, fine herbs, black garlic and ancho chilli ($22). The black garlic packs a punch throughout this fresh and generous entrée, and we were left wanting more and wondering what the delicious and unusual flavours were.
Semolina Trofie
The mains skew more towards French with a touch of Italian. We loved the hand-made semolina trofie pasta with pine nut pesto, pangrattato and pecorino ($24). This dish was the perfect al-dente bite, with a generous coating of the pine nut pesto and a wonderfully salty pecorino grated all over. We also loved the steak frites with diane sauce ($34). A classic, executed to perfection, with lots of delicious sauce and great fries too! The pub menu downstairs has some of the same dishes as upstairs, like the steak frites, but you can also get approachable and snacky items like the rooster roll which has similar ingredients to the fancy brioche toast upstairs, but in a bigger version and housed in a white bread roll ($16).
The very insta-worthy crepe cake with dulce de leche cream and rosella ($15) will feature across both menus. This cake is made by layering dulce de leche crème between fifteen thin layers of savoury crepe, and then topped with rosella flowers that have been poached in a light vanilla syrup. There’s also a selection of cheeses and ice creams to end your night on a sweet note.

The new cocktail list plays on Australian childhood flavours like the ‘Fanta Negroni’ with Malfy Arancia blood orange gin, Campari, vermouth and orange soda ($20) or their Pine-Lime Marg with Olmeca Altos Plata tequila, pineapple, vanilla and lime, and to really bring the Aussie classics home, ‘Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses’ with Jack Daniels Old No.7 Whiskey, mango, macadamia, wattleseed (all $20). Wines consist of organic and biodynamic varieties, leaning more towards natural styles.

We love The Old Fitz, and now more than ever is a great time to check it out. Stansfield has brought a new chapter to the iconic pub and we can’t wait to see what else he brings to the table.

Find out more here.