The Bristol Arms Hotel, Sydney

The Bristol Arms Hotel recently got a new makeover, including the Bristol Kitchen on the lower floor and the Bristol Rooftop Bar, overlooking the harbour at neighbouring King Street Wharf. We pay a visit to the lower kitchen for dinner tonight, which is full of colourful chairs and reminds me of a school cafeteria.

300g Grass Fed Boneless Beef Rib with Fried Onion Rings, Chips, Watercress and Parsley Salad, and Tomato and Caper Butter – $22

As with most pubs, you order at the counter, grab a number and the food comes out to you shortly. The first main we get is the boneless beef rib which tastes just like a steak. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not as tender as you would expect ribs to be, and additionally the tomato and caper butter was never brought out to us (we received a mushroom sauce instead though). It was also quite salty so I didn’t eat too much of it (you can see the salt in the photo) – not sure why it was seasoned so much, as it made the side mushroom sauce redundant. On the upside, the onion rings were nice and crunchy!

Slow Braised Lamb Shoulder Shepherds Pie with Cheesy Mash – $26

The next dish we got was a blackboard special which was full of soft lamb shoulder in a tomato based sauce. It contained crunchy vegetables inside and was topped off with a layer of soft mash. This tasted really good and was quite filling.

Sticky Duck Shanks with Honey and Cayenne – $14 

The last item we ordered was meant to be a side of duck salad, but it got mixed up and we received the sticky duck shanks instead. This turned out to be really tasty – easy to eat chunks of duck meat on the bone, with a sweet honey glaze.

Although the beef ribs weren’t that good and our orders weren’t consistent, the Bristol Kitchen shows promise, especially since they were only in their second week of operations when we visited. Their menu is actually quite affordable especially when you factor in their proximity to the water. It’s definitely worth trying, but otherwise the rooftop bar would make a great location for after work drinks this summer.

The Bristol Arms Hotel
81 Sussex St, Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9262 5491

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