One of the things that I have been craving since the weather has started to cool down is a good old hearty Sunday Roast. It’s one of the top meals us British love and grew up on and something that I absolutely love during the Autumn and Winter.
However, cooking a roast at home in my flat is not an option, seeing as our landlord thinks that a microwave oven is all the rage! You can’t even fit in a baking tray, let alone a Sunday Roast which is a real shame as the smell of a roast is all part of the experience. This just means that we will have to go out for food instead, which isn’t such a bad idea!
We soon decided upon the Woolwich Pier Hotel, not too far from us in Hunters Hill / Woolwich which has won numerous awards from the SMH Good Food Guide including the best hotel for dining in the New South Wales Pub Food Guide in 2014 as well as Best in its Class New South Wales Schooners Award in 2012, 2013 & 2014. More recently it has won the title of ‘’Pub Revival Award” in the Time Out Sydney Pub Awards 2015.
The Woolwich Pier Hotel is a popular place to come for couples as well as friends and families with children and is close to Clarkes Point Reserve, a great place for a leisurely stroll before or after a meal. It has a real friendly and welcoming vibe and is a casual place to come to soak up the atmosphere whilst overlook the beautiful Sydney Harbour and Cockatoo Island. I’ve had many roasts in my life, but I can safely say I’ve never had one in such a beautiful setting as this.
My boyfriend and I arrived early just before 11.40am and were one of the first people to arrive. We had read to get here early as it does get busy and the Sunday Roasts start serving on the dot at 12pm until sold out and we definitely did not want to miss out on that!
There are two levels to the Woolwich Pier Hotel and as we were early we had a little look upstairs which had seating outside, but this seemed to be all booked out, but the views from the upstairs wraparound balcony were fab. Definitely a great place to watch the sun go down.
We headed back downstairs to the pub and ordered a few drinks. I opted for cider as it was a lovely warm Autumnal day, but there were plenty of beers, wines and champagne as well as soft drinks and spirits.
We settled on a table by the windows and took in the views where I could glimpse part of the harbour and people watch at the same time!
The Woolwich Pier Hotel soon started to get busy as the clock drew closer to midday. The barman had recommended that we start queuing up just before 12pm to order our food if we were hungry as it was expected to get busy.
The two choices for the Sunday Roast were the Pork Belly and Crackling which came with roasties, pumpkin mash, apple puree, Yorkshire puddings and gravy, or the Riverine Saddle of Lamb with roasties, pumpkin mash, yorkies, mint jelly and gravy. Both meals were $30 each and both sounded absolutely delicious. However, in the end, the pork crackling won me over so I decided to go for the Pork Belly – got to love a bit of crackling!
Once we ordered our meals at the bar we were given a buzzer so we could collect our food once it was ready. We also helped ourselves to knives and forks, napkins and salt and pepper from the side table. I don’t mind this sort of bistro dining as it makes it more casual and isn’t that much effort to go up and collect food.
It took about 15 minutes for our food to come out and we soon collected it once the buzzer went off. By this time the restaurant had got really busy, and there was hardly a free table left and it wasn’t even 12.30pm yet. A lot of families with children were here as well as groups of friends, and it seems like a very popular place for groups to come.
If you don’t fancy a Sunday Roast, then there are plenty more choices on the menu including Pier Classics such as Sausages and Mash, Beef and Chicken Burgers, or Dory and Fries. There are also Seasonal Mains and both the Salmon Pie and Chicken and Leek Pie looked extremely tempting and large in size. Mains were around the $25 mark which seemed affordable. Of course there are also a variety of salads and steaks as well as entrees to start. We saw someone’s steak come out and our mouths dropped at the size of it! It was huge and had a bit of food jealousy as we waited for our meals.
For those with children, then each child gets a free complimentary ice cream with their $12 meal.
Our Sunday Roasts were beautifully presented on decorative plates and were both good portions. My crackling looked ever so crispy and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The pork belly was succulent and tender and the yorkies, although small were nicely risen and super tasty. The potatoes, were not the roast potatoes I was hoping for. They were more like boiled new potatoes, but I was hoping for roast potatoes that were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, I did not let this put me off. The pumpkin mash actually was surprisingly good, and converted me as I am not the greatest lover of pumpkin, whilst the carrots were cooked in such a way that they were ever so tender, and converted by boyfriend who hates carrots and never normally touches them! Woolwich Pier Hotel, I might need your carrot recipe!
The only other thing I would say is that there wasn’t enough apple sauce for my liking on the plate; however I ended up clearing my plate. The pork crackling was a highlight. Perfectly crunchy and salted, this is how crackling should be and I thoroughly enjoyed this, although there is never enough crackling!
I was quite full after my meal, but my boyfriend who has a sweet tooth fancied a dessert. Now the dessert menu looked and sounded extremely inviting and he ended up ordering the chocolate & Hazelnut Pudding, with burnt orange syrup, vanilla bean ice cream for $12. This dessert didn’t take long to come out and he was soon tucking into his dessert like there was no tomorrow. I did manage to try the vanilla ice cream which was beautifully creamy and you could taste the vanilla running through, whilst the burnt orange syrup was simply heaven on a plate.
Overall, our clean and empty plates are testament to the food served here at the Woolwich Pier Hotel. Fantastic food combined with friendly service in a beautiful setting overlooking the water. I spotted on the menu that they do Trivia on a Wednesday night whilst what really excited me was their High Tea which is served Monday to Saturday. Definitely something worth trying!
The Woolwich Pier Hotel is a great pub to come with friends to enjoy a good hearty meal and we will definitely be back to this hidden gem.