The Wild Rover, Surry Hills

Bars, Drink, Sydney / 23 June 2013

Wild Rover is the hidden Irish whisky and oyster bar in Surry Hills you need to visit.

He was a long time coming, but when that wild-old-rascally rover finally did show up he made himself know. The Wild Rover, located in Sydney’s bustling Surry Hills,  is named for a famous Irish folk song synonymous with drinking, foot-stomping, swashbuckling and general good craic. It comes as no surprise then that this is a bar which delivers on good times.
Despite the moniker, shelves lined with Irish whisky and Guinness served metal tankards don’t for a minute think that this joint is your usual cut ‘n’ paste style Irish Pub. The owners James Bradey and Warren Burns, behind the city’s popular Grandma’s bar, are quick to point out that although the joint is Irish-inspired it isn’t an Irish bar – for starters there’s not the normal plethora of drunken Irish backpackers, there’s nary a green drink to be had other than green Chartreuse, and the joint lacks the faux-vintage Irish pub kit-set which is used to theme your standard stout swill-house.
What this bar does have is two levels of warm hospitality, cold beer, delicious sausage rolls (made by Mr Burns himself) and fresh oysters shucked to order. If you can pull yourself away burying your head in a frothy Guinness or Vale Ale on tap do get stuck into what is arguably Sydney’s largest range of Irish whisky, or a cocktail whipped up by the Rover’s gun team of bartenders. Top of my list is the Kilpatrick Bloody Mary; bacon-flavoured Ketel One Vodka, plenty of hearty spices and tomato juice – a perfect Sunday pick-me-up that washes down Burn’s Sunday special steak & Guinness pasties like a treat.
Yep there’s wine too if you’re of the vinous persuasion, but if you looking for malt-brew look at no further than the old wooden railway timetable board on the wall of the bar – there’s Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, long -necks of Coopers Stout, local brews like Lord Nelson Three Sheets pale ale and plenty more. Before you depart the bar for your next adventure ask for a nip of the house shot – a Whiskey-Mic; a warming mix of Stones Green Ginger Wine and Bushmills Irish whiskey.
With blustery, wet, winter days setting in there’s hardly a heartier joint in town. On your travels wander into the Wild Rover and share a tankard and aye a tale or two to boot.
75 Campbell St, Surry Hills
(02) 9280 2235 ‎
Monday – Saturday: 4pm till midnight
Sunday: 12pm till 10pm