eating out: waterloo hotel

After $6 million and two years of renovations, the Waterloo Hotel has finally reopened. You hadn’t heard? I’m not surprised – it’s almost as though the marketing team is trying to keep it under wraps, with the hotel’s own website still saying it’s closed for renovations. If it wasn’t for my housemate who always seems to know everything that’s going on around town, I probably wouldn’t know either.

Despite the lack of publicity, there was a decent crowd in the bar. While the exterior of the hotel remains art deco in style (it was built in 1937), the furnishing comprise of an eclectic yet comfortable collection of velour and leather couches, armchairs, ottomans and wooden coffee tables.

The menu seems to take its inspiration from British gastro-pubs and even the kids menu was a little fancy (do little kids even like calamari?) The boy opted to try the whole baby barra and it looked very impressive, as you can see in the photo. In the background is my 100-day-old, grain fed sirloin with truffled mash, red wine jus and greens. The steak was amazing but the boy thought the fish left a little to be desired, even if the presentation was extraordinary.

This is upper class pub fare and the prices attest to that – no $10 steak and chips here! I think it’s a little steep for food you eat off a coffee table and it will be interesting to see how it fares with a selection of established restaurants across the road at the Emporium.

Waterloo Hotel on UrbanspoonWhere to find it: Cnr Ann St and Commercial Road, Newstead
Where to find it online: Waterloo Hotel website

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