Woolloomooloo gets fresh with the launch of Frisco Hotel


Chances are if you were heading to a pub in Woolloomooloo it was likely to be The Tilbury, but now there’s a sleek new cool kid on the block (just one street down) which is worthy of attention. The Frisco Hotel.

Thanks to complete refurbishment, this former ugly duckling of a hotel has been turned into a seafaring swan thanks to award-winning architects Alexander & Co. You can’t miss it from the street with its naval themes of blue and white framed with street level sun umbrellas and a huge inviting upper deck balcony just begging for you, a cocktail and a friend or three to complete the picture.


Inside, exposed brick walls and an upper floor revealing a huge arched window; rows of communal tables, hanging baskets overflowing with greenery and oh! that north facing balcony morphing into a fairy lit wonderland at night. A roll call of expertise is behind the drinks and food with awarded Gabrielle Webster, Wine List of the Year for Love Tilly Devine; knocking out cocktail winners like ‘dark & foamy’ or a Fontanet rose Grenache from Languedoc, France.

Chef David Park, (recipient of numerous hats from Gault et Millau) delivers a menu the crossing borders of Japan, Asia with a nod to French influences. Highlights from the bar snacks are morish popcorn shrimp; a tumble of sweet tempura shrimp tossed in a spicy mayo, tempura fish tacos minus the tortilla with served on a lettuce vessel topped with nam jim.

Sashimi in a pub? This isn’t your normal pub fare, nor is the squid ink calamari paired with saffron aioli. Mains of grilled miso salmon on a bed of shitake and enoki mushrooms in a tom yum sauce shouldn’t work but it does.

One of Australia’s oldest hotels may well be landlocked but it’s got the looks, a new management team and is upping the traditional anchor in every area to create a new destination; you might just wish was your local.

Frisco Hotel
46 Dowling St

02 9357 1800





About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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