Though the enormous – and enormously important – opening weekend for The Lansdowne is done and dusted, the triumphant return of the Sydney icon still has a long way to go. The much talked about re-opening has already marked a big win for the resurgence of the city’s once-smothered live music circuit, but there’s more to it than that. It’s past life as a go-to for cheap-as-chips and just “decent” pub fare and good ol’ fashioned drinking sessions has been built into so much more by new owners Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, who have worked on the food menu with chef Phil Morgan. These three have set Paddington’s The Unicorn up as one of the best pubs in the city, so you better believe great things are in store for this Chippendale institution.
Need proof? You just need to scan the new menu to see the difference. Not only has Smyth’s now iconic Mary’s burger been reinterpreted as a god damn burger-pizza, along with other classic pizza like hawaian, cheese and pepperoni, but there’s also pasta, wings, kimchi pancakes, brisket and dragon buns, ‘fire’ chicken nachos, cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese, spam & cheese dogs, steak (rangers valley 250g, with cafe de paris and chips), a fish finger sandwich, and even their own bbq cheeseburger. You might want to read that list again, it’s a lot to process.
With the entire top floor dedicated to live music, with acoustics lovingly worked in collaboration with the same team behind ICC, an ongoing music program helmed by legendary ex-Annandale owners Matt and Dan Rule, and a playful approach to classic pub food with a quality drinks list, The Lansdowne is a true gift to Sydney culture, and at a time when the city so desperately needs one.
Address: 2 – 6 City Road, Chippendale NSW 2008
Contact: (02) 8218 2333
All images by Nathan Atkins for the AU review.