The Taphouse 2.0 brings fun wines, long necks of Tsingtao and succulent Chinese meals to Darlinghurst under the guidance of the Forresters team.
January 18, 2024
Formerly a craft beer bar with a dedication to the Sunday roast, The Taphouse in Darlinghurst was reborn in 2023 under the guidance of Applejack Hospitality (RAFI, Forrester's, The Butler). The new iteration of the multi-storey pub is breezier, specialising in approachable drinks and nostalgic eats indebted to suburban Chinese restaurants.
After resurrecting Forrester's a few years back, the team turned its attention to this historic corner pub, maintaining the heart of the original while giving its fit-out and menus a makeover. The result is a classic ground-floor watering hole and a breezy rooftop bar, all with cracking Cantonese eats.
The menu has been curated by Applejack's Director of Culinary Patrick Friesen, (ex-Queen Chow, Ms.G's) and The Taphouse's new Head Chef Sam Ng, who comes to the pub after previously working across acclaimed Hong Kong venues Ho Lee Fook, Praya and Stanley.
The resulting menu is a hearty and crowd-pleasing affair. Entrees include prawn wontons, barbecue pork buns, salt and pepper oyster mushrooms, pork spare ribs and spring rolls with a plum sauce. Further down the menu, you'll stumble upon steam scallops, wok-fried mud crab, sweet and south pork, and egg noodles topped with braised wagyu beef rib.
Craft beer enthusiasts will be pleased that despite its new owners, The Taphouse still has a hefty roster of brews on offer, including Mountain Culture Status Quo, Grifter Serpents Kiss and Hawke's Patio Ale. There's also long necks of Tsingtao, adding to the playfulness of the venue and providing the perfect counterpoint to the menu of Cantonese favourites.
Applejack's love affair with wine has really shone through its North Sydney restaurant RAFI, and this passion for vino continues at The Taphouse. Alongside your classic chardonnay and shiraz, you'll find Applejack's own Luce Del Sole pinot grigio available on tap, a few skin-contact drops, and Unico Zelo's Fresh AF Nero Bled, served chilled.
If you need even more of an excuse to head in, there are some sizable weekly specials on offer. Visit during lunch hours Monday–Friday and you'll find a range of hefty dishes available for just $18. This includes sweet and sour pork, wagyu beef and broccolini, and wok-fried market vegetables with tofu.
Every Monday, you can enjoy a pork chop curry dinner with steamed rice for $12; on Sundays, frozen cocktails and bloody marys are on offer for $15; and $7.50 beers and wines are available during one of the city's longest happy hours, 12–6pm Monday–Friday.
Images: Steven Woodburn
Concrete Playground Trips
Book unique getaways and adventures dreamed up by our editors