Pubs in Sydney are a bit like old friends. They’re familiar, cosy and you can pick up right where you left off. And the best old friends are the ones that cook well, and invite you around for a bite to eat and a big catch up. That can certainly be said for the 3 Weeds in Rozelle, which welcomes back head chef Darrell Felstead after plenty of years apart.
Everyone’s favourite Inner West pub and the high profile chef had a fair amount of catching up to do – both have come a long way since they met back in 2002. Felstead put 3 Weeds on the map while it also allowed him to cement his career as a British chef down under, introducing Sydneysiders to gastro pub dining. He moved to Foveaux Restaurant and 3 Weeds carried on being one of the top spots to spend a Sunday afternoon making merry on good food, good drinks and good company.
These days pubs can’t rest on their laurels – especially in Sydney where we’re all hungry for rose and poke bowls. Did we mention 3 Weeds has a rose and poke bowl deal this Summer?
Aside from being ridiculously on trend when it comes to their specials, the 3 Weeds team is ready to have some fun with their restaurant offering. Felstead is hoping to wake up Sydney’s diners with his simple, construction-site overhaul of The Garden Room. Think plywood walls, drop cloth sheets on the ceiling, benches and chairs. The kit out is mainly IKEA. It is the Inner West after all. This is a temporary patch, meant to get us all ready for the big things that are coming to the pub, but we kind of like it. The décor is a blank canvas for dishes that have plenty of punch, and enough flavours to paint the room a rainbow of tastes and colours.
We challenge anyone to go past Felstead’s cheesy garlic flatbread. Then there’s the chunky wedges of sweet potato sitting on top of a creamy bed of smoky labne. Cheese boards, sticky pork ribs, teriyaki chicken wings, prawn and potato croquettes – and that’s just the starters to share. Mains include whole roasted spatchcock, Tuscan stew, a couscous crumbed salmon fillet and 3 Weeds classic, the lamb and pea pie. Dabble with the starters but then head straight to the lamb shoulder. Slow roasted for 9 hours, this dish is designed “For the Table” and is a serious chunk of meat served on a homemade hummus bed, with Tzatziki and fresh pea tendril salad. It goes down a treat with a side of shaved cabbage, parmesan and lemon salad. This is a big melting pot of dishes, each with their own story from the chef’s culinary wanderings, but it all works. Especially when you seal the deal with a buttery Banoffee pie that will make you melt at the knees. This was the first dish Felstead ever cooked, and you can tell he’s had plenty of time to perfect it.
From what we’ve heard, this is just the beginning for the reinvention of 3 Weeds, but we’re already on board in a big, big way. In fact, it may just be our new bestie.
197 Evans St, Rozelle