Charo Dining Room Brings Quality Grub To The Local PubNewly renovated about a year ago, the Charing Cross Hotel Dining Room sits separately from the bar area of the hotel. The hotel itself, of course, stands out prominently on the intersection of Carrington Road and Bronte Road in Waverley, so it’s easy to find.
My companion and I arrived at the Dining Room on a cold, drizzly Wednesday night and were immediately seated in a quiet section of the room near the glass wall separating us from the outdoor courtyard and underneath the kitchen outlook. The room’s décor is modest, but relaxing, featuring blonde wooden tables, bamboo chairs, and high-top bar tables, and the eye is immediately drawn to the Rorschach inkblot-patterned wallpaper running along the entire length of the rear wall.
We were well taken care of by our keen server, former Bryon Bay local Nick, who quickly set us up with cold Byron Bay draft ales. He then brought us four starters: rosemary and garlic flatbread with house labna; grilled organic halloumi with crisp chickpeas and sundried tomatoes; croquettes of braised pork cheek with apple, fennel and hazelnut; and lime-cured kingfish and scallop ceviche with avocado puree. The craft of executive chef Stephen Scott was on display here, as each starter stood out for flavour, texture and presentation, especially the ceviche, which was elevated by the avocado puree, and the grilled halloumi and its harmony with the roasted chickpeas.
A couple of more ales came with the two mains – crisp Borrowdale pork belly with pumpkin, morcilla and poached apple; and roast Cone Bay barramundi with smoked eggplant, spiced carrots, farro and hazelnut salad – as well as sides of thrice cooked fries with curry ketchup, and mixed steamed greens with salted ricotta. The different elements on each plate balanced perfectly, particularly the pumpkin puree with the pork belly and the eggplant with the barramundi. Overall it was a very satisfying meal for both of us.
Of course, we had to have dessert, so we went with the most devilish one on offer: the hot snickers pudding – a hot, black, skillet filled with gooey chocolate pudding and peanut butter fudge ice cream drenched in caramel sauce. One word: wow.
Waverley may not be renowned for its top-end dining, but the Charing Cross Hotel Dining Room really does raise the bar. It’s certainly worth checking out for a delicious high-end meal down at the local.
Charing Cross Hotel Dining Room
Address: 81 Carrington Road, Waverly
Phone: (02) 9389 3093
Open: Dinner 7 days; Lunch Friday to Sunday
Prices: Starters $18 – $22; Mains $27 – $38; Dessert $14 $16
Cards Accepted: All major