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.
46 Dowling St
02 9357 1800