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Woollahra Hotel

This eastern suburbs bar boasts a breezy outdoor area and food from an ex-Chin Chin chef.
By James Shackell
February 02, 2022
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By James Shackell
February 02, 2022
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After three months behind closed doors, the Woollahra Hotel has reopened following some well-earned renovations. Built in the 1930s, the Woollahra Hotel is one of the east's landmark pubs — so it's nice to see the owners have opted for some gentle tweaking – rather than a complete overhaul. From the outside, Woollahra's still got that classic art deco aesthetic, with toffee-colored bricks and rounded cornices, but the front bar and restaurant have both been given a serious spruce.

So what's changed? Well, the locals' front bar looks as good as ever, polished to within an inch of its life. It's still a great spot to bend an elbow after a game at the SCG or Moore Park.

The biggest shift has been in the kitchen, where new head chef Jordan Muhamad (ex-Rockpool, Spice Temple, Chin Chin) has given the menu an Asian-inspired twist: think steamed snapper ($29), a selection of house-made curries ($24-32) and Hiramasa Kingfish sashimi ($18). Head over on a Thursday night for curry night where you can nab your curry of choice with a serve of rice and a drink.

And that's just the bar menu. There's also Bistro Moncur, hidden within the pub, newly refurbished, led by head chef Mark Williamson, dishing up some of Sydney's best French grub. Moncur has always been fancy date-night territory: Barossa chicken pâté ($27), grilled sirloin ($55) and saffron crab omelettes ($38), with a mix of local and international wines to wash it all down.

Moncur Cellars' Mark Blake is handling the vino, and he's clearly got a thing for organic, vegan and preservative-free drops. There's a top-shelf cocktail menu, too, re-designed from the ground up.

The Woollahra's open-air terrace is still there, with its fern-covered vertical garden, pink neon and dangling pendant lights, which are sure to please the Instagram crowd. A bit of razzle-dazzle with a rump steak never hurt anyone, after all.
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