Just days before the launch of the The Grill at The Four, the venue's new executive chef John Collins (The Royal) and head chef Daniel Menzies (Bistro Moncur, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Singapore) were still waiting on arrival of a key element – the charcoal grill.
“Our grill was imported from Brazil, and let's just say we almost opened The Grill at The Four with no grill,” says Collins. In the end, it was installed just two days before the venue opened.
The restaurant’s new approach is not too far from the classic French bistro vibe brought by previous executive chef Guillaume Brahimi, but the dishes are pared back and more accessible than before. And the focus is on proteins – premium steaks, fish, rock lobster and suckling pig.
"The wood-fired grill burns different types of wood to enhance particular flavours," Collins explains. So while ocean trout might be cooked over coconut husks, Wagyu sirloin could be grilled over Queensland ironbark.
Proteins arrive served with a wedge of grilled lettuce, and diners can select from sauces like chimichurri or smoked miso butter, and sides including crispy duck-fat chat potatoes or a delicate kale salad with pecans and raisins. There's also mac‘n’cheese with Jindabyne truffles and pecorino.
Beyond the grill there's lighter dishes, such as diced raw kingfish, tuna and salmon topped with tobiko (fish roe) and kombu with a wasabi creme and sesame crackers, or fennel with orange and burrata.
The pub menu has been given a refresh too, with new dishes such as suckling-pig sandwich with honey ham, slaw, pickles on a milk bun and smoked chicken wings with chipotle.
The previously extensive wine list has been drastically reduced by restaurant manager and sommelier Sean Royle (Bennelong), and the cocktail list has been revamped by Kurtis Bosley. It features mostly classics like Negronis and Martinis.
The interiors of the heritage-listed pub were refreshed by Amandine Odouard (Bar Moncur, Bistro Moncur). It's a comfortable, decadent space you could easily spend a few hours in. Rich timbers and quilted leather panelling line the walls, designed in part to keep noise levels down, while rich navy carpeting and dark grey leather seating replace some of the old fit-out. In the pub, the back room has been renovated to create a casual dining space.
The Four in Hand
105 Sutherland Street, Paddington
(02) 9326 2254
Mon to Sun 11am–10pm
The Grill at The Four: