Sydney Restaurant Review: Customs House Bar


By Deb Carr


I dined at Customs House Bar on Monday night with Rogue Homme blogger, Arrnott Olssen, and was treated to some fabulous food that actually took me by surprise. I say this because the meal was exceptionally good and far outweighed my expectations for pub food.

Customs House Bar was transformed from one of Sydney's oldest pubs into the city's newest dining destination with its very popular beer garden. We were dining at night time and it became a little chilly, and for someone like me who is miserable when cold, I was very grateful of the subtle heat that warmed me up from the heaters above us. The décor is consists of rustic furniture, beautiful hanging gardens, hedges, white picket fences and communal tables and for a Monday night, there were quite a few people enjoying a drink and/or meal.

Executive Chef Hemant Dadlani has designed a range of dishes with a Caribbean feel and we chose four, which were so delicious, we found it hard to stop eating! I am struggling in deciding which was my favourite as each of the dishes we chose was incredibly tasty. We shared the following:

ROASTED YOUNG CHICKEN

VINE TOMATOES & WATERCRESS SALAD, CHILLI TOMATO RELISH 19

The chicken was very tender, no bones and topped with Chilli Tomoto Relish made it sensational. Served with the salad on the side, this makes for an extremely tasty and filling dish.

BRAISED GALANGAL BEEF SHORT RIBS

SLOW COOKED, SEASONAL MARKET SALAD, PINE NUT SALT 21

As soon as my fork picked up a piece of this beef to take to my plate, the meat gently fell apart. So perfectly slow cooked and tender with the galangal flavours, I couldn’t get enough! I admit I always stop when I’m full, and people who know me say I eat like a bird but in this case I purposely broke my rule and had that other extra piece. Again, served with it’s own salad. Possibly was the winner for me, again all dishes were delicious.

WARM HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND BUFFALO MOZZARELLA 17

BABY GREENS, PRESERVED LEMON DRESSING.

We had a range of salads to try and each had its own distinct flavor. This is a beautiful salad and made that extra tasty with the preserved lemon dressing.

PULLED PORK STEAMED BUNS, 6 PCS 24

ROASTED CHILI SAMBAL

Arrnott and I just looked at each other with that “we should not be doing this face” because neither of us normally eat anything with flour, however we both have our weaknesses and the pork buns were just screaming at us ‘eat me’. The flavor and tenderness makes these pork buns a very tasty dish. As you can see from the photo this is a large dish, and a meal in itself.

My verdict: Loved the atmosphere, service and food. I will be going back soon, especially on a balmy summer night.

It’s worth noting, Arrnott and I had a glass of Pinot Grigio with our meal even though Custom House Bar is famous for its beers, including four exclusive beers, which are quarantined for at least three months before being sold. There are over twenty different beers to choose from, plus a dedicated beer tap for boutique craft beer, which regularly features a different microbrewery. In addition to the extensive beer offering, Customs House Bar has a tempting wine and cocktail menu.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Customs House Bar and we report on our genuine experience (no we can’t be bought to say nice things).

Photos taken with: Nikon p7800 (www.mynikonlife.com.au)

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