The Paddington Inn has a split identity. It’s part casual pub and part fine-dining restaurant. The venue is inspired by a Paddington terrace; the front room is a casual but dimly lit space stocked with wooden booths, high stools and a wraparound bar. It flows past an atrium-like smoker’s hangout into an open, sun-lit kitchen and dining room with a feature wall of abstract portraits by artist Christiane Spangsberg.
Chef Justin Schott has worked at Kitchen by Mike and Rockpool Bar and Grill. The influences of these restaurants are clear; approachable food with clean flavours. There is a simple dish of swordfish with lemon-oil and rocket sauce. And a whole duck to share; it’s air-dried, brined, glazed in whisky and maple syrup, and served with fermented cabbage and roast sweet potatoes.
The bar menu is shorter and sharper to better focus on drinking. There are burgers and a chef's take on snacks and bar food, such as two-day-marinated tandoori-style chicken wings with raita and pickled cucumber. He also makes his own biltong, focaccia, kombucha and bacalhau (Portuguese-style salted fish).
There are seasonal cocktails, wines on tap and a mix of mainstream and local craft beers.
The Paddington Inn opens on Friday September 9.
338 Oxford Street, Paddington
(02) 9380 5913
Sun to Wed 11.30am–12am
Thu to Sat 11.30am–1am
Price: Bar $5 – 22, dining room $14 – 34