Drawing on Pyrmont's heritage as an important maritime hub, Peg Leg has a strong nautical theme, with cabin-style roofing, conch shells on each table and oil paintings of ships battling treacherous seas.
Originally built by the City of Sydney as a pub a century ago, the room has been reconstructed to its original form and has a cocktail list based around the favourite spirits of the officers (gin) and workers (rum) who lived in the area.
The brainchild of bartenders from London's Milk and Honey, the drinks list is impressively creative and varied. Divide and Conquer ($18) is a smooth number, with rich Pampero Rum and a nod to the suburb's role in the spice trade with coconut and allspice butter. On the gin list, The Admiral ($18), is a vibrant pink concoction with beetroot shrub and a hint of citrus in the lemon myrtle-infused West Winds gin. It's an unusual taste combination, but approachable and summery.
The Pyrmont Cobbler ($13) comes in an old school Navy tankard and is a refreshing blend of gin and tropical fruit while The Stingray ($22) is a drink rugged enough for a seasoned sailor, combining two of the whisky world's grand daddies, Talisker 10 and Lagavulin 16, in a smoky, sea salt inflected brew. There are also beers from local stalwarts Lord Nelson (Three Sheets Pale Ale, $10) and a Stable Hill Chardonnay ($10 glass, $48 bottle), which is ideal paired with seafood.
The menu continues the port theme, with selections based around fresh seafood sourced from daily trips to the nearby fish markets, where Peg Leg staff have become a fixture, decked out in their three-pointed pirate hats.
A special of mussels ($5 per pound) is worth snapping up if it's on offer — the chunky tomato sauce and crunchy, charred bread make excellent accompaniments. A Ploughman's platter ($16), meanwhile, is the kind of working class food that would have once served the quarrymen and bridge workers that made up Pyrmont; it's a hearty mix including prosciutto, soft-boiled eggs, creamy brie and crackers.
Seafood is the main draw however and Pacific oysters ($3 each) are creamy and topped with a shallot vinagerette. Another option is the salt and pepper Squid ($12), which makes for a salty snack and comes with a lemon and parsley mayonnaise.
You can call in for a breakfast coffee, with Sensory Lab beans on offer, or swing by for a dessert like the deep fried lamington ($6), which started as a something of a joke but is now a fixture on the menu. Crunchy and chocolatey sweet, it's an absolute must and another string in the bow of a place that offers something for every landlubber. Arr!
Images: Bodhi Liggett