There’s no scandal behind the relaunch of the Paddington Inn. The fine dining and casual pub concepts only opened last September, but seven months of trading showed that fine dining wasn’t what people wanted from their local.
“We’re being really honest that the first venue didn’t quite work,” says general manager Chelsea Carter. “We listened to what locals had to say; they wanted something easy and approachable.”
The Paddo Inn Bar and Grill interpreted that as a grill, something co-investor and chef Matt Moran has wanted for a long time. “I’ve been telling [co-investor Bruce Solomon] for years the Paddo should have a grill, and now we’re finally doing it,” Moran says.
Chef Laura Baratto will lead the kitchen. She’s been working with Moran for a decade, beginning her career as an apprentice at Aria, and most recently heading up the kitchen at Chiswick at the Art Gallery of NSW.
The new menu speaks to a wide range of customers. For those looking for a classic grill experience, the impressive 900-gram T-bone steak is good for sharing. Baratto favours the rump cap. “We’ve been dry-aging it for a week, and it’s coming up beautifully,” she says.
For those seeking lighter fare, there’s snapper served with a simple side of greens, or grilled salmon. The small plates menu has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options – roasted pumpkin with barley and pomegranate or beetroot, feta, marjoram and balsamic. There are also some raw options – steak tartare, kingfish and salmon gravlax.
On the wine list, there are plenty of hearty reds, older vintages as well as wines by up-and-coming winemakers like Alex Head and Mac Forbes. The cocktail list reflects the season. For winter, the rum coffee cocktail comes with toasted marshmallows, and the Old Fashioned is sweetened with maple syrup.
The Paddo’s front bar has remained open during the transition from fine dining to grill. The new space is cosy and inviting with booths in dark hues.
Paddo Inn Bar and Grill
338 Oxford Street, Paddington
02 9380 5913
Mon to Sun 12pm–10pm
Fri to Sun 12pm–3.30pm
Mon to Sun 5.30pm–10pm