Riverview Hotel & Dining
When the British coined the term gastropub, Australian pub-owners scoffed and foodies behind restaurants in Sydney guffawed. Replace humble meat pie and mash with fancy fine-dining? It seemed ludicrous, and many would argue it to the grave. Until they dined at the Riverview. This is one classy pub with some outstanding grub. Built in the 1880s, the ‘Riv’, as its known to Balmain locals, has all the cosiness and welcoming vibe of a pub, but with the food of a well-heeled restaurant. It’s a brilliant spot for a Sunday afternoon drink and lunch, with not a white tablecloth in sight. Choose from a menu that celebrates the best of contemporary British fare with chef Brad Sloane’s olive-crusted lamb rump with globe artichoke and gently-warmed fetta, handmade pasta, and roast duck breast already winning a number of foodie gongs, including Gastronomic Hotel of the Year. If you just want to down some ice-cold schooners and have a nibble, there’s a great tasting plate for two featuring succulent prawn and chorizo brochettes, crab and whitebait fritto and potted Wagyu en Croûte. You’ll never want to go to an average pub again.