Merivale's assault on Sydney's inner-west kicks off this week with the opening of the revamped and rebranded Queens Hotel on Enmore Road. And while the city's food curious will hunt its Chinese interpretation of steak and chips at Queen Chow restaurant, elsewhere it is the pub's taxidermy that has locals and tradies talking.
Is the taxidermy from owner Justin Hemmes' personal collection?
The bar at Queen Chow. Photo: Supplied
"No, I'm a lover not a killer," he says. "But the goat did inspire the name of the bar [The Smelly Goat], because when we unpacked it, it had what you'd call a bit of a lingering goat smell," he says.
Dishes from Queen Chow, the new Merivale restaurant on Enmore Road. Photo: Supplied
Christopher Hogarth – one part of a kitchen triumvirate including Patrick Friesen and dim sum master Eric Koh – says they went on a dream fact-finding eating tour to inspire the Cantonese-leaning opening menu. "Whether you are having a spring roll and a schooner at the bar, or crab at Queen Chow, we want it to be something special."
The menu will include scallops with XO, Alaskan crab dumplings, whole roast duck with a sheen of plum sauce, South Australian pipis doused in Young Henrys lager and aromatics, and Typhoon shelter crab, an iconic Honkers dish served deep-fried with soy bean pulp. Dessert includes a whimsically named "Forgotten Koi fish in the frozen pond".
Chefs Patrick Friesen and Christopher Hogarth went to Hong Kong for menu inspiration. Photo: Supplied
"Ten years ago pubs were about TV screens and bad carpet; this venue moves from feeling like a moody colonial business club to a light, bright restaurant," Hogarth says. "The stir-fried crisp potatoes with beef cubes, black pepper and a little stock is a nod to the old school pubs steak and chips. And we think the area – with the theatre down the road – has a real late night opportunity with our supper menu."
Queen Chow is offering an Asian twist on what you might expect from pub food. Photo: Supplied
Upstairs, The Smelly Goat will offer a cocktail list curated by Harrison Westlake, with curious carrot and capsicum spiked drinks, and a Crunchy Nut cornflake infused number.
Mon-Thurs midday-2am, Fri midday-3am, Sat 10am-3am, Sun 10am-10pm
Level 1, 167 Enmore Road, Enmore, 9240 3000, merivale.com.au/queenchow