Imagine Icebergs as a pizza-centric pub bistro. It would be pretty good, right? Fine-dining chefs making pizza, an equally impressive sommelier curating the wine and a gun pastry chef working with a wood-fired oven. Welcome to the Dolphin Hotel.
There are three parts: the public bar, the restaurant, and a tapas-style wine bar.
“We have such a strong team [at Icebergs], we can spread out pretty well,” says chef Daniel Medcalf. He’s the head of the dining room’s kitchen. Sam Cheetham leads the wine bar, Jaclyn Koludrovic handles dessert and James Hird has built the wine list. Icebergs head chef Monty Koludrovic oversees the team.
“What we focused on [at Icebergs] was a building a producer base we could be proud of. We wanted to bring that same ethos to this venue,” says Koludrovic. The restaurant menu has plenty of examples. Anthony Puharich, LP’s and the Continental Deli carry the salumi section; cheese comes from local makers La Stella and Vannella; and the pizza is made, contrary to the cultural laws of Italian pizza, with almost all Australian ingredients. “Pizza is the most exciting for me because no one is really doing it in a produce-driven way,” Monty says. By that he means there’s no San Marzano tomatoes or Italian flour, pretty much everything (Parmeggiano Reggiano is an exception) on the pizzas here is premium quality, seasonal, Australian produce.
The rest of the dining room menu is closer to what you’d imagine a pub version of Icebergs to offer. A pappardelle bolognese is reinvented with dollops of buffalo ricotta and gremolata. Absurdly soft grilled octopus comes with poached potatoes and salsa verde. The twice-cooked pork belly with radicchio, beetroot and truffle, and the crab spaghetti, are close matches to their Bondi counterparts.
The public bar menu and wine room menu are entirely different. The sports-pub-styled bar, with textured cream walls and graphic black-and-white-printed furniture, serves steak, burgers, pies and pizzas. Cheetham’s wine room serves tapas-sized share plates (Monty hints at sweetbread tartare and fresh burrata). “In the rest of the venue we match wine to food. Here we're giving James lots to play with, food matched to beverages,” says Monty.
Hird has developed different wine lists to match the philosophies of each of the pub’s three areas. The wine room will feature the biggest and most explorative range. “It's a bit unusual for a hotel, but I wanted to have wines that are producer driven, ones that come from farms and farmers themselves,” says Hird. While the public bar and the dining room have all wines available by the glass, the wine room will feature a rotating list of 200 bottles with five(ish) rotating producers by the glass. “If you want to drop in and have a pino you can, but if you want to get into it you can explore Clemens Busch's three different soils reflected in his different wines.”
412 Crown Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9331 4800
Mon to Sat 10am–midnight
Wed to Sun 5pm–10.30pm (lunch service coming soon)
The Dolphin Hotel are still growing. They’re currently looking for a host of people for their new dining room. If you’re looking for a job with a top team, check out what’s on offer at Scout Jobs.