The Kurrajong Hotel
The Erskineville pub has a new look and a new menu of craft brews thanks to the Gurdys team.
It's been over a year in the making, but Erskineville's Swanson Hotel has finally gotten a new lease on life. The sprawling corner pub has being resurrected by Gurdys duo Clare and Brett Davis, who've returned the pub to its original name, The Kurrajong.
The 1930s pub has also returned to its former glory as a "locals pub run by locals" — though not without some serious renovations. The interior has been completed gutted, and the team has — in the process — restored a lot of the old heritage features, including the original art deco floor and wall tiles.
"We tried to bring back as many of the heritage aspects as we could while also bringing it up to date," says Brett. Some of those updates include a brand new bar and kitchen, and the ripping out of the pokies — that space is now a separate kids playroom.
Head Chef Daniel Lanza (Opera Bar, North Bondi Fish) is in the kitchen preparing classic pub grub that (like Gurdys) uses sustainably and locally sourced produce. While the menu changes with the seasons, expect staples like the fried chicken burger ($19), falafel burger ($19), schnitzels ($21) and ploughman's boards ($24) to make an appearance all year round. Dishes you might find in the cooler months include osso bucco bruschetta ($17), lamb croquettes ($18) and grilled octopus with chorizo ($18). Dietaries are well looked after, too, with a slew of gluten-free and vegan options available.
There are also a few shared steak cuts from Banksmeadow's Haverick Meats on offer, including a one-kilogram tomahawk ($95). Plus, chocolate lava cake ($12) for dessert.
On the bar side of things, there are 12 rotating beer taps and three dedicated wine taps, all pouring Aussie drops. For the former, expect BentSpoke, award-winning Balter, Stone & Wood and Young Henrys. For the latter, there's a grenache, rosé and pinot grigio all from South Australia's Riot Wine Co.
Images: Kimberley Low