One Ford Street
Publican Tim Condon purchased this venue as Monkey Bar in March 2015 and restored the hotel’s original name. He’s also responsible for refurbishing Rozelle’s The Three Weeds and Balmain’s The Riverview, and who currently operates the East Village Hotel, also in Balmain.
The venue has been returned to its roots – a good local Balmain pub. One Ford Street is the adjoining restaurant, with a separate entrance. Chef Sam Bennett (previously of Bourke Street Bakery, Glebe Point Diner and Fix St. James) is in the kitchen. The menu focuses on the honest, seasonal and produce-driven food of Italy, favouring handmade pasta, bread and cured meats.
Everything is done in-house and the kitchen is open. Dishes are designed to share, especially ones from the sharing menu, which includes options that aren’t necessarily on the regular menu. With that you get what you get, just like going to your nonna’s house.
Dishes include lamb T-bones with fregola salad, or tiger prawns with sugar snaps and caramelle. The wine list includes Italian wines and locally produced Italian varietals. For that Mediterranean garden feel there’s a pergola in the greenery-filled courtyard, as well as a private outdoor dining room.