The Unicorn

This friendly, unpretentious pub from the Mary’s gang is well-loved for its cold beer, homegrown wine list and food menu.
Erina Starkey and Alec Jones
Published on January 07, 2016
Updated on March 27, 2024


The Unicorn, a revered Paddo pub of pubs is a collective effort from Mary's guys Kenny Graham and Jake Smyth, plus Porteno's Elvis Abrahanowicz and Young Henrys Oscar McMahon. Proudly dishing up Aussie pub classics, including steak and chips, roast chook, meat pies and a bloody good pav if you choose dessert over another beer.

Despite the historically swanky Paddington location, you won't find leather banquettes or fancy dangly lights decking out The Unicorn. Instead, there's a dartboard, a pool table, an old piano for drunken sing-alongs, cold beer and good food.

To start, you can order Jatz with house-made French onion dip — the ultimate 70s-style party starter. From the main menu, it's pretty hard to go past the Mary's burger, but with Elvis in charge there are still plenty of other dishes to instil food envy. The Unicorn's Bannockburn chicken schnitzel uses both the breast and wing, which are fried to a golden crust. It's served with creamy mash and a pool of pan gravy.

There are also a few steaks on offer, although you won't find the usual porterhouse, scotch fillet and rib eye on the list. Here it's 'the daily steak' or 'the fancy steak' — expertly cooked with two choices of sides, ranging from cauliflower cheese, crinkle-cut chips, peas, mash or honey carrots. Then there's 'the big and fancy steak' which is served medium rare with smoked eschallot butter and four sides of your choice.

The cherry atop The Unicorn is the old-fashioned dessert list, which includes a pav with banana cream or a chocolate fondant with baked fruit and malt ice cream.

Young Henrys is well represented on tap — however, it would be pretty un-Australian to neglect the VB, Resch's and Carlton, which feature alongside. For the plonk, the wine list is all-Australian, featuring top drops by small local producers, listed by state.

All in all, an unpretentious Aussie pub with good food and good vibes.

Images: Byron Martin for PADDO(Collective), Bodhi Liggett


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