There is a trend whereby you take a local pub and breathe new life into it by revamping the dining options and adding in funky cocktail options. What is the result? You get local watering holes with awesome, honest food (see the likes of The Carrington, El Loco). Tonight, we are here at The Forresters with our ex-Sydney siders couple visiting for the weekend from Canberra and every time we catch up we try something different to which they can’t experience back home. I didn’t make a booking as we were planning to meet up and have an early dinner. We arrived at the pub at 6pm and there were scores of patrons at the bottom floor, looking like they have settled in since the afternoon and have not left. Mr Dough was worried that there was no spots for us but he spotted signage for upstairs dining area.
The restaurant has an old Italian rustic vibe and we were informed that we could have the table only if we could vacate by 8pm for another booking. That was fine by us as we could then venture downstairs to the watering hole. The place had a few early diners and it was quite enjoyable having the place largely to ourselves. Having scanned the menu before I knew precisely what I wanted but when I got there, I became indecisive again! Luckily, our waitress for the evening informed us of the Feed Me option of $40 per head where we get the Chef’s selection of starters, pizza, pasta, pizza and rotisserie.
These little morsels were addictive. They weren’t overly oily and the crumb had a really nice crunch to it. Another bar food to keep in mind for next time!
I was expecting the white bean dip to have a powdery consistency but it was really smooth. For those who don’t like anchovies never fear as there is only a slight hint of anchovy through the dip.
I could happily eat all this plate to myself. The pasta was cooked al dente with generous chunks of flat head, diamond clams, mussels & prawns. It was tossed through just the right amount of seasoning of parsley, chilli and garlic.
Much to my delight, the other pasta of the night was mac n cheese. I was really looking forward to this as I luuurrrve mac n cheese!! Everytime I see it on the menus of restaurants, I have to order it and see which one has the best one. So far, Rockpool Bar & Grill tops the list. This was a little bland for me as I prefered a more rich, cheesy filling with the sprinkling of breadcrumbs on top providing a really nice texture. What was bland for me was good for Mr Dough as he doesn’t share the same fascination of cheese as I do.
Our waitress described this pizza as carb on carb and rightly so. The toppings consist of nduja (a spicy spreadable sausage), Tallegio cheese and a layer of mash potato to seal in the naughtiness!! With all the toppings it was nearly thicker than the base. This pizza is a hangover cure in a slice! The pizza base was thin, springy and crispy all rolled into one. I thought Naremburn pizzeria had the best pizza but I think I have found a winner! I chewed through my first slice and wanted another but I had to save stomach space for the next pizza.
By this stage we were running out of room on our table and had to place the next pizza behind us. Not everyone is a fan of gorgonzola (especially Mr Dough), so I wasn’t sure how we would finish this. The gorgonzola did not over take the pizza which Mr Dough approved of. The sweetness of the balsamic helped cut through what you could taste of the gorgonzola and Mr Dough was pleasantly surprised how much he enjoyed it.
We weren’t expecting to have each portion to be so big and when the roast came, we all looked at each other telepathically saying, it’s yours. The lamb was a little on the dry side and at the risk of sounding like Manu on My Kitchen Rules: more sauce!! A rocket and parmesan salad also accompanied the roast.
The dinner ended up lasting for more than 3 hours, purely because we were trying to eat everything off the table before the next dish came. They didn’t try to rush us to get the table back which I thought was really nice of them. Since there was no rush of giving back the table, we ordered a few post-dinner drinks and sat around for a real nice chat. We ended up being one of the last ones to leave and the staff was starting their end of night clean up.
I found it to be great value for money with uber friendly service. All in all, I really love this place and wished they would come over to my side of the bridge so I can eat there every night. In the meantime, I would just have to find more and more excuses to eat there. I think I just found the perfect place for Mr Dough’s up coming birthday dinner.
336 Riley St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
P: +612 9212 3035