The Forresters, once renowned for its $10 steak, has received a facelift Norfolk-style.

Yep, those lads are at it again, reinventing Sydney's pubs one by one. This time it's the Forresters, once renowned for its $10 steak, that is receiving the facelift. We're glad to see that the front section and the beer garden, previously the pub's best features, have been left essentially the same. The major changes have happened through the back and upstairs, where forgotten zones are now independent bars and assorted function spaces - including a karaoke room.

Drinks on offer are what you'd expect from your local: mainly beers and wines, plus a small range of cocktails that the bar was simply too busy for us to order. Whatever, the beer was cold and that's good enough for us. The food menu centres around snacks or tapas-style dishes, pizzas (grouped into 'red' and 'white'), pastas and Italian mains. It's not a small menu by any means. Our favourites so far - and everything looks darn fine - are the Meatballs ($14, also available as sandwich or on pizza) and the Nduja, Tallegio and Mashed Potato Pizza ($22).

Either because we know the formula by now or we have less patience for the insane crowds, the Forresters fails to feel as exciting as recent ventures the Norfolk or the Carrington. Perhaps it's simply that the Italian food concept isn't quite as adventurous. That said, there's a lot more space here, plus the food is top notch, generous in servings and affordable - check out the $10 lunches and the $25 rotisserie dinners. Once we vent our superfluous hipster criticisms, we'll be in attendance once a week minimum.

Published on April 17, 2012 by Trish Roberts

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