With a pub on almost every corner, the Inner West is well-versed in revamps and refurbs. The humble old pub is almost a thing of the past and one of the last standing Erskineville watering holes, the Kurrajong Hotel, has emerged as The Swanson Hotel.
Brought to us by the Balmain Pub Group aka the Riverview and Balmain Hotels, The Swanson has all the hallmarks of a well thought out reno – brand new gastro pub menu, eclectic yet polished dining room, marble bar, Art Deco chandeliers, and a substantial wine cellar.
What’s also present are the locals. They’re still in the downstairs bar every night – regulars bring their dogs and sit outside, families are tucked into high leather booths.
The difference is, now they’re tucking into wagyu beef and ale pie with a satisfying golden crust of pastry sprinkled with sesame seeds, they’re drinking the craft beer that’s on tap and settling down in front of the fire.
The Swanson has managed to glam up without getting too posh. There are still pizzas and a hearty wagyu burger on the bar menu – pub food but pub food done good.
Chef Brad Sloane is making sure every angle is covered – you can tell he’s really having fun in the Dining Room upstairs. Here’s he’s snuck in tasty beef tartare, country pork terrine and Sydney Rock Oysters. For mains he’s got a few of the downstairs dishes (charging a few dollars extra for the experience) but is showing off his skill with a tender Black Angus Scotch Fillet and melt-in-your-mouth potato and truffle gnocchi.
The rosemary crinkle cut fries are simple yet so so good, and the sticky toffee pudding drizzled in butterscotch sauce is a hit of homemade comfort food that’s perfect on a cold winter’s night.
106-108 Swanson Street, Erskineville
T: (02) 9519 3609