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The Waratah

A welcoming ground-floor pub and a romantic diner with a love of native ingredients come together at this impressive Darlinghurst venue.
By Ben Hansen
January 29, 2024
By Ben Hansen
January 29, 2024

Part pub, part wine bar and part romantic diner, The Waratah is a jack-of-all-trades venue that's taken over a classic two-storey hotel in Darlinghurst.

Led by hospitality heavyweights Evan Stroeve (ex-ReBulletin Place and Swillhouse), Alex Prichard (Bondi Icebergs) and business partner Cynthia Litster, the impressive spot is located on the corner of Liverpool and Victoria Streets, just a few doors down from Shadow Bakery.

The Waratah offers a couple of different zones that you can occupy. Downstairs, you'll find the walk-in-only public bar — an easy-going spot with approachable eats.

Upstairs things are a little more serious, with a moody dining room equipped with a semi-al fresco area and breezy outdoor tables on the balcony. There's earthy tones, warm lighting and touches of local flora throughout the venue, setting a tone apt of the playful menu.

The Waratah menu folds in a strong dose of Australian nostalgia with all of the sensibilities of modern Sydney favourites. The ideal way to kick things off is with a double serve of scallops — crispy brown potato scallops topped with raw scallops and served with tartare sauce.

If you're in the mood for more of a snack-for-one, the lobster roll is here to help. Otherwise the menu lends itself to sharing. Must-orders include the butterflied king prawns, the brick chicken swimming in a honey gravy and the barbecued eggplant topped with oyster mushrooms and Davidson plum.

For dessert, choose between the nostalgic and the indulgent. Those who want something a little fun can go a fairybread ice cream sandwich, while real dessert lovers should look no further than the Daintree vanilla flan accompanied by amaro and a poor man's orange caramel. Pair this with the house blend of vermouth and you're in heaven.

The wine menu has something to satisfy any palette, but if you're after something a little stronger, turn your attention to the cocktail list titled 'Drinking Australia'. Highlights include a cocoa and cherry negroni that uses gin, local cherries and wine made with Daintree cacao; the Mango and Cream, which combines rum, spiced mango, caramelised cream, coconut and lime; and the signature Waratah Spritz.

There's much to love about The Waratah.

Images: Jason Loucas

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