The East Village Hotel

234 Palmer St Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

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Opening hours Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm,Sat-Sun noon-4pm, 5pm-10pm
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Visa
Phone 02 9331 5457

A sharp example of inner-city resurrection, the Village has morphed from dodgy dive to charming gastropub. A wagyu steak arrives on a breadboard, cooked perfectly medium-rare and artfully arranged beside chunky chips and coleslaw. While the bar staff could be more educated (a question about why the steaks were labelled MS9+, MS3+ and MS7+ drew blank stares), this grub is a serious cut above average. Our softly seasoned gnocchi was delightfully light; the chilli salt-and-pepper squid sharply tasty. There is culinary thought, skill and charm at play here, and once the rooftop terrace is back in action, the only way for the Village will be up.