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The Cookhouse Randwick… A Haven For Winter Hibernators

By Vicki Heath on July 12, 2013 in Food

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

It’s a pub; it’s a bar; it’s restaurant; no, it’s The Cookhouse Randwick. Previously Balzac, then Montpellier Public House, The Cookhouse sits at the intersection of Belmore Road and Avoca Street in a 150 year-old building that is strewn with classic history. With all the sandstone going on, you’d be forgiven for thinking a pub from the Rocks had been plonked in your local neighbourhood.

The Cookhouse come about thanks to the vision of partners Ross Godfrey (of Newtown venues Oscillate Wildly, Carlisle Castle Bistro and the Union Hotel) and David Milton (Soho, Kinsela’s, Opera Bar, Paddington Inn, The Sheaf and the Courthouse Hotel in Newtown) who felt that this type of venue was lacking in the Eastern Suburbs. When the site became available, they pounced.

The establishment has been refurbished to create an informal yet classy venue for a drop in drink and bar meal on the ground level or the full-shebang sit down dinner upstairs.

The downstairs renovation has seen the ceiling height increased, which immediately creates a feeling of space. The area is softened acoustically and texturally with ambient industrial and coloured art deco lighting, and warmed with vintage furnishings including Persian rugs and leather armchairs.

Ross is The Cookhouse Randwick’s fearless and funky leader on the ground; his staff love him and he loves his wines. Not only can he can show you an impressive range of local and international drops, he can also tell you some good stories of times he’s previously enjoyed them.

Stefan is the man behind the cocktail bar and boy can he shake them. Get him to whizz you through the menu or take you off the beaten cocktail track. If you have a craving, he’ll solve it – my solution came in the form of a Frangelico Sour. He can also set you up with one of the eight beers on tap, including local Sydney ales Young Henry’s form Newtown and Riverside 69 from Parramatta.

You can drink here without eating, but you’ll be missing out if you do. The menu is diverse and laced with modern Australian staples. Foodies can feast on mains including blood pudding and scallop with beetroot relish and watercress, or crispy skin salmon with petit pois and chardonnay vinegar, while those looking for something less serious to line the stomach before downing a few beers can choose from pub staples such as fish, steak, burgers, chicken, pasta and gnocchi. And if you have the little tackers in tow, you can keep them happy with a feed of chicken fingers or spag bol.

If the winter chill has had you headed into hibernation mode, The Cookhouse Randwick is sure to drag you out of it. Settle into to the lounge downstairs for a red wine and a yarn, but be warned: it’s a social atmosphere that encourages you to linger longer!

The Cookhouse Randwick

Address: 141 Belmore Road, Randwick
Phone: (02) 9399 9660
Open: Mon – Thurs, 4pm-midnight; Fri-Sat, 12 noon-midnight
Price: $3 – $28.50
Seats: 160
Cards: All major cards
Licensed/BYO: Fully Licensed