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The ‘Beef ‘n blue’, in all its cheesy glory.

The Village Inn: A Bloody Good Pub Words Joel Bevilacqua Photo Lauren Commens After gallivanting around the Eastern Suburbs for the past few months sampling a range of fancy dishes from a number of trendy establishments, I found myself craving an honest pub feed. I suppose all the beef carpaccio and vegan tiramisu in the world is no match for a solid chicken parmi (or ‘parma’, depending on your origins) when you’re bloody starving. At the time of craving it just so happened that The Village Inn was launching its new winter menu, so I ventured to the heart of Paddington to see what culinary changes had been brought about by the change of season. The Village Inn was the first pub to open in the Paddington Village. It has stood the test of time on the corner of Glenmore Road and remains one of Sydney’s favourite watering holes. Loved for its trivia and streaming of sporting events, The Village Inn evokes that old-school pub charm. There’s good music and vintage leather couches, and pictures of sporting heroes hang from the exposed brick walls. Sticking with the wholesome theme, dogs are also welcome - something that

is sure to please the dog-crazy residents of the area. The food on offer is very much in tune with the old-school pub vibe. The menu celebrates traditional pub classics with a twist and chef Johana Pierre’s winter rendition remains true to this custom. New additions include a garlic prawn pasta, a steak sandwich with truffle mayo and two new burgers - a mushroom burger with romesco sauce and a wagyu beef burger with blue cheese dubbed the ‘Beef ‘n blue’. This crowd-pleaser comes courtesy of charismatic owner Brody Petersen, who was inspired by his travels to New York and the copious amount of blue cheese and burgers consumed during his time in the Big Apple. Buffalo wings with ranch sauce have also been added to an already tantalising bar snacks menu and the jamon mozzarella croquettes hold their spot in the line-up. Pub classics like the lamb shoulder and chicken parmigiana remain, but Pierre still likes to put her own spin on these. The chicken parmigiana is made with prosciutto rather than ham, and the slow cooked lamb shoulder is served with an elegant eggplant chutney.

The Village Inn is located right in the middle of Sydney’s fashion mecca, so an emphasis has been placed on providing healthier lunchtime options to cater for the locals working in the industry. These include a salmon poke bowl with brown rice and a pumpkin poke bowl with quinoa, along with Caesar and Greek salads. A pub’s dessert menu is not generally a source of great excitement, but Chef Pierre’s background in pastry provides an exception to the rule. Jo’s chocolate raspberry sensation (frigging delicious) is worth leaving some room for, and the dessert of the day always showcases Pierre’s skillset. If you’re on your way to the footy this is a great place to stop in for a feed. The sun-drenched balcony is as good a place as any to forget your team’s woeful performance and the upstairs area is ideal for birthdays and other parties. As much as I love the finer side of dining, it was nice to tuck into a pasta that was bigger than my fist and a cold tap beer that didn’t break the bank. Throw in friendly staff who are up for a laugh and you’ve got yourself a bloody good pub experience. The Village Inn www.parlourgroup.com. au/thevillageinn/ Address 9-11 Glenmore Road, Paddington Instagram thevillageinnpaddington Phone 9331 0911 Open Mon-Sat 12pm to late, Sun 12-10pm Prices Beef ‘n blue burger $20, Garlic prawns pasta $25, Poke bowls $18, Jo’s chocolate raspberry sensation $12 Cards Master, Visa, Amex Licensed Yes August 2019 The Beast 61

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