A welcoming ground-floor pub and a romantic diner with a love of native ingredients come together at this impressive Darlinghurst venue.
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-Re, Bulletin 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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