The Flynn, Sydney

The Flynn

Sydney’s pub dining has come a long way in the last twenty years. It’s more than a decade ago when The Forresters in Surry Hills became the first pub to offer $5 steaks to draw in the crowd.

Since then, publicans have realized that ridiculously high profit margins for alcohol can only be sustained if there is a pull factor for the drinking crowd. Many pubs have up the ante by creating tantalizing food menus to match killer cocktail lists designed specifically to woo the ladies. And pub owners know too well that when the sheilas come in, the blokes will follow suit.

Some establishments have also refurbished their old and tired premises. Gone are the dark and dingy corners with the stench of beer from the day before. Hip and modern decor bring about a breath of fresh air and a renewed appetite to serve good, wholesome food.

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s annual Pub Food Guide has given casual diners more visibility in locating some of the best pub food the city has to offer. In addition, many pubs and hotels have engaged PR professionals to devise cutting-edge marketing campaigns to lure in customers, often through social media hype and frenzy.

And with the kind invitation of PR agency Shake Appeal,  I am here at The Flynn with my shiela friend, Towkayso.

Dining room ~ The Flynn, Sydney

Dining room ~ The Flynn, Sydney

Drawing inspiration from Australian swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn (20 June 1909 – 14 October 1959), The Flynn’s Lil’ Damita Restaurant is named after Flynn’s first wife, French actress Lili Damita.

Toffee Apple $17

Toffee Apple $17

Towkayso tells me a Toffee Apple cocktail is like the handsome Aussie actor himself – endearingly sweet yet deceptively powerful.

And just like how a woman may blush after noticing a suave and charming gentleman, she is already blushing after a few sips of this cocktail.

Or perhaps the blushing is because she is having lunch with me.

Zucchini blossoms $14

Zucchini blossoms $14

Zucchini blossoms are stuffed with gorgonzola and ricotta. The batter is light and crisp yet the cheese inside is hot and gooey.

Sprinkled with finely shaved parmesan, this tri-cheese entree is a serious contender for Mysaucepan‘s zucchini flower recipe that she loves preparing at home.

Hiramasa kingfish $25

Hiramasa kingfish $25

Hiramasa kingfish is super fresh and the skin delightfully crisp. The meat is a little firm from being just a tad overcooked. I would have preferred this beautiful fillet on medium rare by searing it skin-side down on the hot griddle for an even longer majority of cooking time.

I taste turmeric in the sweet carrot and ginger puree and wonder if this is the best flavour combination for such a fresh piece of seafood.

Seasonally, this warm and creamy puree would work better in winter but on a sunny day at the end of summer, I am thinking bold salsa verde ala Jamie Oliver to give this dish more attitude.

Chicken burger $16

Chicken burger $16

Towkayso’s chicken burger is a meal that any bloke would be happy to greet in a pub.

Served on a wooden platter, a steak knife spears through a brioche bun, grilled chicken breast fillets, lettuce minted slaw, lettuce and hot mayonnaise. Hot steak fries on the side complete the picture if you have a cold beer in hand.

Rangers Valley Angus scotch fillet $28

Rangers Valley Angus scotch fillet $28

In recent years, I have come to judge a pub by its signature steak just as you would a Chinese restaurant by its signature fried rice.

A 300gm Angus scotch fillet from Rangers Valley north of New South Wales with a beef marble score of 3 -6 sounds too good to pass. And grain-fed (as opposed to grass-fed) tells me this steak is worthy if cooked well (See my comparison of grass-fed vs grain-fed steaks here).

I prefer my steak presented on its own and choice of sauce on its side. However, this slab of rib-eye comes with a couple of deep-fried onion rings, grilled mushrooms and roast tomatoes piled on top.

Rangers Valley Angus scotch fillet

Rangers Valley Angus scotch fillet

A request for medium rare is beautifully complied with and the red wine jus turns out to be a revelation for this succulent and juicy piece of meat. It is redolent of butter, beefy flavours, black pepper, herbs and of course, red wine.

Each mouthful is laden with a tasty piece of beef fat and as it pans out, this steak is one of the best among so many pub steaks I have tasted in Sydney.

The Flynn’s menu has some pretty enticing items ranging from burgers, steak sandwiches, fish and chips to pasta and pizzas. There’s also lunch specials for $12 from Mondays to Thursdays – Black Angus Burger, sashimi and soft shell crab salads, ricotta meat balls and even bahn mi courtesy of Head Chef Thuong Dang‘s Vietnamese heritage.

But for now, I am happy to sing praises for the zucchini blossoms and that awesome piece of rib eye steak.

The Flynn, Sydney

The Flynn, Sydney

So dear reader, do you have a favourite pub in Sydney and if so, what is your go to dish there?

The Flynn
2A Bligh street
Sydney, New South Wales

The Flynn on Urbanspoon

Tel: +61 2 9223 0037

Opening hours: Lunch & Dinner Monday to Friday, 10am till late. Closed Saturday & Sunday.

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14 Responses to The Flynn, Sydney

  1. Padaek says:

    Great photos! Got to have a steak at a pub (call me old-fashioned), and that scotch fillet looks ultra tasty!!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Padaek,

      I’m always tempted too if there’s a scotch fillet / rib eye on a pub menu. But some new pubs have some really exciting stuff too.

  2. missklicious says:

    The food looks great! I don’t have a favourite pub, I tend to like trying different ones – my go-to dish though always tends to be the chicken schnitzel.

  3. That toffee apple cocktail has my name all over it!! I know I would have to try the Angus steak with the onion ring… it has been so long since I have had onion rings!

  4. Looks like you went for the Western side of the menu there Chopin. I ended up gaming their Asiatic offerings, results are fairly surprising!

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Michael,

      I’m glad I chose the rib eye because it was awesome. I prefer Asian style noodles at tried and tested Vietnamese / Asian restaurants because they are bound to be better and cheaper too, your Mrs Dang’s noodles a case in point.

  5. wow look at the colour of that scotch fillet, i could polish that entire plate!

  6. Not bad for pub food! Pubs really have lifted them game in the past 5 years. The colour on that steak looks beautiful and melt in your mouth delicious

  7. I just happened to be craving a really good steak before I read your post – now I really gotta try this place out!

  8. Pub dining is back on our radar, too. We’re currently working our way around the Balmain joints … next up, Surry Hills! Love the look of the knife speared through the burger! Thanks for sharing.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Rachel,

      We used to go to Sackville pub in Balmain years ago and I remember the menu was already pretty good at the time.

  9. Raymund says:

    The way that burger is served reminds me of how Germans in Munich serve their Schweinshaxe

  10. Angela says:

    I stopped going there as the smoke from the drinkers/gamblers outside was so annoying when I was trying to eat – plus the service is average at best.

    Slightly disappointing review as you really missed talking about the ambience – which is like being in a glammed up RSL. We stopped going there (work down the road) and now go to The Bull and Bear for our pub lunch and drink.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Angela,

      We were sitting close to the outside area but there were no smokers. The service was good as the waitresses came over now and then to enquire if we needed anything. More importantly, I found the food to be good especially the zucchini blossoms and my rib eye steak.

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