The Dry Dock Hotel

90 College Street, Balmain Balmain, NSW 2041

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Opening hours Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm,Sat-Sun noon-9.30pm
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Payments eftpos, Mastercard, Visa, AMEX
Phone 02 9555 1306

The Dry Dock is Balmain's oldest licensed pub. The two-level bistro Eljko's Restaurant is 1980s timber town with exposed rafters overlooking a scruffy courtyard garden. There's a good mix of pub grub with the occasional Slavic blackboard special. Smoked salmon stars in a colourful salad with perfect avocado wedges, capers and mesclun. Duck confit with blueberries and red cabbage tasted good but needed longer in the pan to render the fat and crisp up. The salt-and-pepper squid needed more pan time, too, but the penne arrabbiata with chorizo is chunky, spicy and satisfying, with a good parmesan dusting.