Merivale weren’t about to end 2016 quietly, playing one last card for Christmas just weeks after unveiling Paddington’s well-received double-venue Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s. It now feels like a long time ago when Merivale announced that they had purchased Enmore’s historic Queen Victoria Hotel, and for over a year we’ve been slowly drip-fed info about exactly what the group were planning for their very first foray into Sydney’s inner-west. Turns out those plans take the form of Queen Chow and upstairs bar The Smelly Goat, both falling under the title of Queens Hotel and both open to the public as of this week.
The dynamic kitchen trio of Christopher Hogarth and Patrick Friesen (both of Papi Chulo) and dim sum master Eric Koh, a man famous for getting Mr. Wong off the ground, have come together to shape Queen Chow with a menu packed full of Cantonese classics. Fresh seafood and traditionally prepared BBQ meats have been included on the menu to reflect the best of Hong Kong’s bustling open-air food stalls, otherwise known as dai pai dongs.
While the kitchen pumps out the likes of Typhoon Shelter Crab (deep fried crab with garlic, chilli, black bean and soy bean pulp) and Koh’s specialty dim sum menu, the bar will be offering a respectable list of wines and tap beers (Young Henry’s makes an appearance of course, it is the inner-west after all).
Though cocktail lovers will want to head on upstairs to the beautifully restored surrounds of The Smelly Goat, soaking in an atmosphere shaped with fabric-lined walls, black timber panelling and a hand-carved onyx bar top. Harrison Westlake oversees the bar here, making sure staff are across the list of reinterpreted classics with unexpected ingredients. For example, their version of a Dutch Courage splashes carrot into a mix of Maker’s Mark and white wine, or the Churchill’s Delight nods to Queen Chow’s Chinese influences with smoked tea syrup used to rework a tequila old fashioned. Grab these and head out to the gorgeous enclosed terrace which pushes away from the moody interiors with a brighter spill of rattan chairs and native orchards.
Address: 167 Enmore Road, Enmore
Contact: 02 9240 3000
Hours: Mon-Sun (bar, lunch, dinner and late night menus)