It’s hard not to reply "allo guv’na" when you’re greeted at the door of the Governor Hotel by a man in a three-piece suit and top hat. It’s just one of the many references to Governor Lachlan Macquarie at this new four-level pub, bistro, garden terrace and rooftop bar in Sydney’s north-west.

The spacious ground level, 260-seat bistro and bar has lush hanging greenery, dark and natural timbers, portraits of old mate Macquarie, an open fireplace, and a grand piano. There’s also hidden nooks to retreat to, including six booths inspired by an old train carriage.

Take the graffiti-covered staircase, done by Melbourne street-artist 90, up to the 200-person rooftop bar, Ess (short for The Governess). It offers 360-degree views.

The menu on the rooftop makes the most of the Japanese robata grill, which imparts a smoky flavour onto sweetcorn with chilli, pork belly and miso-glazed king salmon.

Downstairs serves pub classics such as schnitzel with kale slaw and fries, and shared mains such as the lamb shoulder on the bone – enough to feed four. In fact, there are several options for groups, such as the tomahawk steak or a 1.2-kilogram roasted king salmon, both served with sides such as mini corn on the cob and smashed chat potatoes. There’s also a decent selection of pizzas.

The Governor is a twist on a whisky Old Fashioned. It uses spiced rum, bitters, orange zest and a blazed cinnamon stick. The Governess is made with gin, lemon, raspberry, ginger and a torched marshmallow.

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Updated: August 3rd, 2018

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