For chef Darrell Felstead, returning to 3 Weeds after 13 years away is like coming home. “When I first saw this venue in 2002, nothing was built,” says Felstead. “We created something when we opened, and getting to come back and being able to nurture her and set her up for the next 15 years is amazing.”
The chef made his mark at 3 Weeds. He brought gastropub dining to Sydney from his native London and then moved on to open the revolutionary fine-dining restaurant Foveaux.
“You go through things in life that change you,” he says. “I’ve seen the highs and lows of business. I went from winning best new restaurant in Sydney with Fouveaux to filing for bankruptcy.”
This time Felstead wants to create a venue with simple food that brings people together. Felstead describes the current fare as an interim menu. The final menu will come out in early 2018 when the whole pub has been renovated. He’s experimenting with inspiration from Sydney’s multicultural roots.
The couscous-crusted salmon is served with tong ho, a Chrysanthemum green familiar in many Asian cuisines, and a Moroccan chickpea sauce that has the texture of a foam. There’s a chateaubriand, which is the decadent, butt-end of a beef fillet, large enough to share between three.
3 Weeds classics such as steak and Guinness pie have been reimagined as spring lamb, porter and pea pie, and Felstead is bringing back the first dessert he ever made when he was 12 years old and working in a pub: a sticky-sweet banoffee pie with a buttery biscuit-crumb base and slices of fresh banana.
For now, 3 Weeds looks largely the same; DA approvals have halted construction. Windows in the back room let in a filtered light, and the big fireplace is still there. The new Garden Room has been temporarily revamped. The timber framework of the walls is exposed, there’s sailcloth draped from the ceiling and plenty of greenery. Eventually there will be an atrium ceiling, and all the spaces will be renovated with a respectful nod to the building’s Art Deco heritage.
197 Evans Street, Rozelle
(02) 9818 2788
Mon to Thu, Sun 12pm–10pm
Fri to Sat 12pm–12am