The freshly revamped Hotel Centennial is the exact opposite of all of the above. Even from the outside looking in, the warm glow of a wood fire oven and dozens of lamps dotted around the big room brings you in like moths to the flame.
And once you step through those doors, it’s very, very hard to leave.
A huge overhaul by designers Luchetti Krelle and a brand new menu by big name Justin North has turned this pub’s dining room into a seriously chic space that’s akin to your coolest friend’s lounge room. This is the Eastern Suburbs, so make that your comfortably well-off friend, with a perchance for contemporary photography and sculpture.
Upholstered arm chairs and cosy lounges, tables round, square, big and small, make good use of the space, squeezing plenty of diners in without anyone feeling cramped.
The team have lowered the ceiling to improve acoustics – even on a Friday night when the tables are packed, you can hear the person next to you.
There’ll be some fierce debate over what to order; the menu grazes between fresh-from-the-garden heirloom tomato salads to a hearty 5 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder that serves up to 3 people.
The fries already have a local following – served in a mini deep fryer cage and sprinkled with celery and herb salt. And there’s a beef burger that looks set to give Sydney’s best burgers a run for their money. Hotel Centennia’s Holmbrae chicken schnitzel pushes the definition of pub food towards fine dining fare.
Too many options? There’s always the High Table. Monday – Wednesday you can join the long communal table for a daily plate ($24/person). Dinner is served at 7.30 pm and it’s the chef’s choice – you can get a sneak peak on Tumblr from around noon. The $80 shared High Table menu gives you a full taste of the menu if you want to try a bit of everything.
88 Oxford Street Woollahra
T: 02 9362 3838