The Royal Leichhardt
After a bit of a revamp, The Royal restored some drinking and dining life back into Norton Street. Downstairs doesn’t look like much, but venture up a level for a pleasant surprise. The Botanical restaurant is an inner west take on an English countryside pub.
The dining room proves a peaceful spot for a Sunday lunch. Dusky teal walls and fresh flowers evoke a country manor, teamed with industrial touches such as glowing pendant lights and tarnished gold tabletops.
The beer garden, with its pot plant wall and almost open roof, is perfect for a chilled drink. Cocktails follow a fruity theme, such as the Botanical Cup - a blend of Tanqueray, pear, quince and lemon. A one-page wine list offers mid-range bottles from around Australia, and the 12 beer taps are mainly allied with the majors.
To eat, there are American-inspired dishes as well as more traditional pub classics. Gather some friends to tackle a kilo of sticky chicken wings, or pick at tender salt and pepper squid with fresh herbs and lime. Otherwise there's schnitzel, steak and fish 'n' chips.
Service is relaxed, with cutlery presented in timber buckets that double as table numbers. Smaller buckets serve as vehicles for twice-cooked chips, well-seasoned with flaky sea salt.