Ooh but I do like a drink don't I? That just has to come with good pub food on occasion, particularly after the stress of moving. Still this is Newtown so there's an abundance of places to stop for both a drink and a bite to eat. The Coopers Hotel is definitely one of the better pub bistros in the area and comes recommended. From the outside the pub still hints at its VB and racing punters history with its tiled wall and high beer stools, but upstairs is a Newtownian wonder of upmarket alternative lifestyle; all power lesbians and skater-punks drinking Shiraz.
The decor is quite tasteful, all dark wood and no 60s pub carpet in sight. Outside there's a small beer garden where you can smoke and a rather tranquil water feature that tones down the rowdiness of the patrons.
Bulmer's Cider $6.20
One of the biggest wins for me since the Coopers' renovations is that they finally have decent English cider on tap, though for unknown reasons they don't stock pint glasses. I still don't really understand non-UK drink sizes in Sydney but this is a "schooner" for unfortunately about the same size as a pint at Kelly's down the road... but anyway we're here for the food!
Pumpkin and Rosemary Risotto tossed with Goat's Cheese and shaved Pecorino $18
You know your neighbourhood has gentrified when they put goat's cheese in the pub food; but being the poster girl for middle class alternatives I really don't mind one iota. The risotto isn't gluggy like it can be and is fresh, creamy and delicious. Large pieces of pumpkin are scattered throughout and the creamy rice has taken on the fresh vegetable flavour. The risotto itself was a little underseasoned in my opinion, but once the cheeses were stirred through this more than balanced the dish and I suspect this was the cook's thinking.
Spiced Lamb Burger with smoked eggplant relish, tzatziki and kumera chips $16
If Blackbird had the burger that doesn't deserve its price tag then the Coopers does. The lamb patty is fresh, thick and a little pink just as I like my lamb, the entire burger is so thick it must be cut in half to be able to pick it up. The salad is fresh and inventive, the relish and yoghurt superbly complement the meat. Kumera is a new zealand sweet potato for those that are unaware; and though what we have here could barely be described as chips they are extremely tasty. Highly recommended especially after a couple of drinks.
The Coopers Hotel Pub, Bar and Bistro
221 King Street,
Enquiries: 9550 3461
Head upstairs for the bistro
Monday - Saturday Midday - 10pm
Sunday Midday - 9pm
No booking required
Fully licensed, pub atmosphere