Hotel Centennial

Reviewed by Georgia Cassimatis

It wasn’t just the warm, soft, melt in your mouth waffles soaked in classic, fudge ice cream, vanilla cream and butterscotch sauce that sealed the deal for my wanting to come back to the Hotel Centennial restaurant asap, or the roast fillet of pasture fed beef with potato puree and jus gras, perhaps the most succulent, soft, tastiest meat I think I’ve ever devoured, but the fact that the friendly service also happened to serve my mum an impromptu chocolate mousse cake for her 70 th birthday when I dropped it into conversation that I was bringing her to experience this often talked about classy, yet relaxed restaurant in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.

….and one sophisticated joint it is. When it was taken over in 2012 by uber Chef Justin North, he gave the 100+ year old pub overlooking Centennial parklands a much-needed face lift further solidifying it as an eastern suburbs fixture: developing it into a place much like a cross between the TV show Mad Men and a stylish, welcoming living room with its eclectic mix of furniture, antiques and contemporary art.

Now passing the baton onto young, British Executive Chef Tom Deadman, tweaks will be made, but the simple brilliance of the menu remains, which pays homage to clean, fresh, not over the top food.

‘I like to create something that sparks from the flavor of produce’, says Tom, like their hit salad: the Grilled Asparagus and pea salad with stracciatella and preserved lemon.

‘If it’s your first time here, I also recommend the slow cooked Lamb shoulder shared between two people …paired with a Moffatt cocktail, named after one of the artists featured on the walls here, or a light pinot noir.’

‘If you want to just hang out in the Scarlett Lounge (named after Scarlett Johansson), I recommend a bottle of rosé with grazing antipasto plates.’

As for the waffles, they were removed from the menu once and all hell broke loose.

‘There was absolute uproar. It’s now served all the time: brunch, lunch and dinner and the bar menus’.

Another hit feature is the bottomless mimosa brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10am -12pm.

With its quality menu it has established itself as the go-to place for locals, non-locals and internationals for all occasions: afterwork drinks, bar snacks and catch ups with friends and family.

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