Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

Woolwich Pier Hotel

Update: Woolwich Pier Hotel was recently awarded Best Hotel for Dining by Sydney Morning Herald’s Pub Food Guide 2014.

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Being a harbour city, there are countless bay, reefs, coves, peninsulas and inlets around Sydney’s foreshores and seascapes.

Many of these spots are popular with Sydneysiders because of its often breathtaking and panoramic views over the water. Throw in Sydney’s acclaimed ’320 sunny days in a year’ and a glass of chilled chardonnay and you have the perfect formula for spending a day outdoors to soak up the sunshine.

Unless you get there early, weekend dining spots are so popular among locals and tourists that many people are willing to wait up to an hour to get a table at some cafes and restaurants around Sydney.

Are there anymore restaurants serving good food with views that nobody knows about? I am inclined to think not.

But there is one restaurant in Sydney that is a little more difficult to get to because it is tucked away from tourist hotspots around the city and public transport is in the form of less frequent buses, especially on weekends.

The Woolwich Pier Hotel located towards the end of the Hunters Hill peninsula in the exclusive suburb of Woolwich has just re-opened after extensive renovations.

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Apart from a handful of restaurants clustered around the eastern end, it is a very leafy and quiet spot where one can sit and watch the sailboats gently rocking in the calm waters.

Long queue: Sunday lunch at Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

Long queue: Sunday lunch at Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

We only found out this is the first Sunday the restaurants has re-opened after its renovation period.

Even at 1.30pm when we get here, the lunchtime crowd queueing for orders does not seem to be dying down anytime soon.

Signage at the order counter

Signage at the order counter

“There is an average 45-minute wait” the waitress tells us.

There is a nice and shady dining area in the outdoor courtyard and there are also ample sitting area upstairs to have a drink while waiting for the meal buzzer to sound.

Crown lager $7.50 each

Crown lager $7.50 each

You can either have a few drinks or if adventurous, you can go for a short walk around Woolwich once you have placed your orders.

On this busy Sunday, our meal buzzer took an hour and a half to sound – literally double the waiting time which we were told earlier. The kitchen and wait staff know they are under-staff and under the pump with so many people here today. Accordingly, the bar is happy to oblige my request for two rounds of free drinks while we waited for our food.

Cocktail bar upstairs at Woolwich Pier Hotel

Cocktail bar upstairs at Woolwich Pier Hotel

The menu looks a more exciting than the average restaurant in a pub. The usual bar snacks include garlic toasties, croquettes, salt and pepper squid, split pea and ham soup and prices are competitive despite the restaurant’s elegant decor in an upmarket location.

Spanner crab linguine $24

Spanner crab linguine $24

Portions are fairly generous and a spanner crab linguine comes with vine-ripened tomatoes, chilli, garlic and diced zucchini.

Twice cooked pork belly $26

Twice cooked pork belly $26

The twice cooked pork belly looks dark and luscious. It is stacked up on braised kale, smoked speck, prunes and topped with red apple crisps.

The meat is very tender and yielding and I find sweetness of the prune juice to be right on the mark.

Full marks to the chef for thinking about a great sauce complement that does not involve apple for this pork dish. The red apple crisps is also an excellent idea to give some texture although they can be a lot more crispy.

Grass fed beef and pulled pork belly (background) $6 each, minimum order of 2

Grass fed beef and pulled pork belly (background) $6 each, minimum order of 2

There are a lot of families with young children here today and a Sliders section on the menu has 6 choices for your burger patty:  herb & cheddar crumbed chicken, grilled chicken, pulled pork belly, pulled lamb shoulder, beer battered Dory fillet and grass-fed beef.

What an excellent choice for these small sliders and I can see them going down so well with the kids. There is a minimum order of two sliders and we choose the grass-fed beef and pulled pork belly.

The sliders come in small, golden brown brioche buns studded with white sesame seeds.

This grass-fed beef  slider comes with relish, pickles, onion jam, melting cheddar and mayo.

The pulled pork belly slider is sandwiched with red cabbage slaw and smokey BBQ mayo.

I have had meals here in the past but it looks like the hotel has really stepped up its game in the food department.

Confit duck leg $26

Confit duck leg $26

We are sitting on the long communal sofa and after an hour and a half, we have also made conversation with the folks next to us who have waited almost as long as us.

The lady next to me orders a confit duck leg that comes with savoy cabbage and a fig sauce drizzled on a reservoir made from chestnut puree. I thought it looks pretty good, certainly better than many restaurants within a pub.

Sunday lunch at Woolwich Pier Hotel

Sunday lunch at Woolwich Pier Hotel

The dining room is buzzing with the the weekend crowd and for families, children are allowed in the main bar areas too.

French fries $8

French fries $8

The French fries are crisp and arrive pipping hot to the touch. They are seriously addictive with a cold beer.

Birdcages hanging on tree in courtyard

Birdcages hanging on tree in courtyard

The outdoor area of this pub is a shady from a huge tree and is popular with families because it is child-friendly.

Pier punch $30

Pier punch $30

A Pier punch seems to be popular and why not on a lazy Sunday with beautiful outdoor weather.

2012 Mike Press Chardonnay $36

2012 Mike Press Chardonnay $36

I normally prefer wooded chardonnays but an unwooded 2012 Mike Press Chardonnay has no hints of oak and its fresh nectarine flavours are elegant.

Grass fed beef burger $20

Grass fed beef burger $20

The grass fed beef burger comes with sesame brioche bun, melting tasty cheese and more of those French fries.

Flathead fish and chips $20

Flathead fish and chips $20

Flathead fish and chips is crisp and I prefer tartare sauce to a green pea mash dip.

Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

The Woolwich Pier Hotel is one of Sydney’s more elegant pubs because it isn’t grungy and it doesn’t have a “pub odour” like some drinking holes in the city. It is a pub dining experience that I would happily recommend to Sydney visitors.

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

It the tail end of winter and pink Magnolias are in full bloom. We take a walk after lunch to look at some of nature’s beauty and more importantly, to work off the calories from a hearty lunch.

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Magnolia blooms, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Boats to get to your boat, Woolwich

Boats to get to your boat, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

Sailboats, Woolwich

So dear readers, do you have a favourite pub in Sydney and what is your favourite food when dining in a pub?

Woolwich Pier Hotel
2 Gale Street
Woolwich, New South Wales

Tel: +61 2 9817 2204

Opening hours: Open 7 days for lunch and dinner

Woolwich Pier Hotel on Urbanspoon

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11 Responses to Woolwich Pier Hotel, Woolwich

  1. missklicious says:

    What a pretty spot! That pork looks great, and I like the sound of the sliders, especially since there are so many choices to pick from!

  2. What a comprehensive review! And that’s a lot of magnolia too! :o

  3. Juliana says:

    Oh! I am literally drooling over the twice cooked pork…and I see passion fruit in the punch…yum!
    Thanks for the beautiful pictures…
    Hope you are having a great week :D

  4. celia says:

    See, that’s how I know I’m getting old. :) In the past, walking into a busy place would make me think, “Oooh the food must be good..”. Now I just thing…”let’s go somewhere else..” :)

    The food looks very good though, and the views were stunning!

  5. Raymund says:

    That pork belly and those sliders looks amazing

  6. Michael says:

    Wow, this place looks pretty epic. Really cool location, even on Google Maps.

  7. I have yet to find my favourite pub but a must order for me at any pub is fries. Don’t judge! I love my fries way too much!

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