The New Sydney Hotel

Licensed $-$$   Glass icon
87 Bathurst St, Hobart
03) 6234 4516
Open: Lunch Mon to Sat; Dinner nightly.

Good food, great staff, 12 beers on tap, some interesting wines at good prices and live music in a real, ungentrified pub chock-full of atmosphere, character and a colourful, mixed and mixed-age crowd. It’s a winning combination. And the New Sydney has the lot. Little wonder the bar was packed and every dining table was taken or reserved at 6.30pm on a Saturday night – and all still full more than an hour later.

When we eventually got a table and the food came, it was easy to see why. Klaa Clemens, the chef, previously worked with Iain Todd at Piccalilly and today is off to Sydney as one of two Tasmanian representatives in the finals of the Electrolux Awards for Excellence Young Chef Awards.

While his modern take on steak tartare once again proved that you mess with the classics at your peril, his risotto of mixed mushrooms and crisp parmesan wafers was as good as the best you’d find anywhere round town. As was his exemplary fish ‘n chips – the fish beautifully moist and tender within a light, perfectly crisped batter, the chips nicely salted and crunchy. And, although an Italian might not have recognized the big bowl (for two) of meat and marrow bones as an osso bucco, the thick tomato ragout freshened with lemon and garlic oil and chopped parsley made it a richly flavoursome, very enjoyable dish.

So too some creamy goat croquettes, a pot of plump Spring Bay mussels with chorizo in a tomato broth with chips and two dips and, something you rarely see but understandably is very popular, a corned beef baguette with the refreshing spike of sweet pickled vegies on the side.

While these sorts of dishes and things like wagyu rump and pot-braised goat shoulder are outside the normal pub mainstream, the extensive blackboard menu also features such staples as chicken parmigiana, baked potato skins, salt and pepper squid and crumbed scallops supplemented by specials that change weekly. And those salty, crunchy chips come with just about everything.

As they say these days, “All good”.

Starters $8 to $12; staples $17 to $30; seasonal $20 to $27 with the wagyu rump (grade 6) at $38

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