Ashfield Hotel's new restaurant Pub Cucina aims to lift the counter meal game

Ashfield Hotel's new restaurant Pub Cucina aims to lift the standard of pub food.
Ashfield Hotel's new restaurant Pub Cucina aims to lift the standard of pub food. Photo: Distil

 Chef Sam Bull is taking the lessons he learnt at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and North Bondi Italian Food and applying them to the newly opened Pub Cucina at the Ashfield Hotel, where his aim is to lift the pub food game.

As group executive chef at Nelson Meers Group, Bull's plan is to open new restaurants at their hotel properties across the Sydney suburbs.

"This one [in Ashfield] is Pub Cucina. There'll be a Pub Butcher steakhouse and a Pub Pizza," he says. "We also want to do a Pub Chicken." 

The interior has been smartened up but is still very much a pub.
The interior has been smartened up but is still very much a pub. Photo: Distil

Pub Cucina doesn't have a fancy fitout. It's still very much a pub but they've throw a bit of coin smartening it up. But it's the food Bull wants to hang his chef's hat on.

The Pub Cucina pitch is trattoria-style pub grub. There's an eggplant parmigiana painstakingly built with more layers than Bull can count. "It's a throwback to North Bondi," he says.

"The burrata comes with a cherry tomato compote and grilled bread, we're doing porchetta with old-school stuffing, and there's an eight-hour slow-cooked beef ragu," says Bull, whose recent CV also includes Sydney's Prince of York and The Norfolk, just relaunched in Redfern.

Porchetta with mash and veal jus will be on the menu.
Porchetta with mash and veal jus will be on the menu. Photo: Distil

Pub Cucina has even stolen some of the pub's turf. "We've upgraded the outdoor area from a smoking section to an outdoor dining courtyard. There are only a couple of places with outdoor dining on the Ashfield strip."

Open Mon-Thu 11.30am-9.30pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm.

204 Liverpool Road, Ashfield