The Waratah is a double-decker bar and dining room by Pollen Hospitality, a hospo group made up of acclaimed bartender Evan Stroeve (ex-Re, Bulletin Place, Shady Pines Saloon) and Cynthia Litster. The menu was designed by Icebergs executive chef Alex Prichard alongside Waratah head chef Lewin White (ex-Icebergs, Bistro Moncur), who also worked with Stroeve at Re.
If you’re parking up downstairs, the approachable menu keeps things simple, and is primed for snacking and eating with your hands. The showstopper here is the Waratah Burger – supported by oysters topped with rosella granita, Balmain-bug rolls with spicy mayo, and fries seasoned with house-made bush salt.
Drinks-wise, there’s a focus on local, but it’s not exclusively Aussie. With a different bartender every week, you’ll get four entirely new cocktails. When Broadsheet visited, highlights were the Waratah Spritz: a mix of vodka, tart Rhubi Mistelle (an Aussie aperitif co-created by Stroeve), watermelon and vanilla.
Upstairs, the menu expands with more vege options and a trio desserts (you can still get the burger), the wine list lengthens and the cocktails get more technical. Drinks focus on a different region of the country, with eight options highlighting produce from different regional suppliers. Sip one in the dining room – where deep, earthy tones evoke the Aussie bush – or on the wraparound verandah overlooking the street.
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