Crown Street's centrally-located hotel is out to ditch the crusty ol' pub stigma and make its well-designed mark on the Sydney bar scene with new owners Solotel. Food-wise, expect some of the best Italian Surry Hills has to offer, forget any tacky surf 'n' turf here. The Clock is certainly proof that you don't need an Italian waiter serving you pizza for it to taste damn fine. The rectangular pizzas are just too good to pass up. The bases are faultlessly chewy, toppings are simple and tasty, and you can even down it with a tempting cocktail or craft beer.
Special mention goes to the vegetarian pizza bianche — it'll surprise any keen carnivore with mushrooms, pumpkin, zucchini and Treviso radicchio. Other varieties include pork and fennel sausage with artichoke, or a sopressa, eggplant, peppers and roast onion combination (all $18).
Don't just loiter out the front though, there's whisky to be found out the back. Following the lead of well-stocked, handpicked whisky bars like The Baxter Inn or the new Dram Club-curated back room of Jacksons on George, The Clock has opened a brand new single malt-happy room out the back — in addition to the gin bar opened on the first level. Decked out like an old-timey saloon out the back of the Crown Street pub, The Whisky Room has been a project a long time coming for Solotel, dropping over 100 whiskies, chesterfield booths and swinging half-doors into Crown Street's newest addition.
Open Wednesday through to Saturday, The Whisky Room has been stocked to the rafters of whisky's usual suspects (Islay, the Highlands, US) alongside handpicked favourites from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Japan. Whether you're a fan of a fresh Hakushu Distiller's Reserve or an all-out Sullivans Cove American Oak, there's a metric phucktonne of whiskies behind the bar — and bartenders who actually know their stuff.
By Aimee Sics and Shannon Connellan.