February 2024: The Rover now serves a full menu of bistro dishes on both levels of the venue, with new additions including The Gidley's outstanding burger. It’s also introduced a permanent happy hour, and is now trading on Mondays.


After a decade of good craic on Campbell Street, Surry Hills Irish bar The Wild Rover needed a polish. Now known simply as The Rover, the two-storey venue’s reputation for stellar cocktails is as strong as ever – but Liquid and Larder group (Bistecca, The Gidley, Alfie’s) has turned it into the bustling neighbourhood spot it was always meant to be, with a full menu of refined bistro dishes served on both levels until late.

Whether you’re here for snacks or pushing the boat out on dinner, executive chef Pip Pratt’s East London-inspired menu has you covered. Walk in and perch at the bar with a Martini and some freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, and a plate of cured sardines with tapenade and bread. You can also book a table upstairs, and settle in for signatures like the fisherman’s pie with smoked trout and potato gratin; or the Gidley’s outstanding double-beef burger.

As ever, the Rover flaunts a serious whisky collection, joined by a 14-page wine list of mostly biodynamic and organic drops. But really, it’s all about the cocktails here. When Broadsheet visited, highlights included the Estuary Martini (Never Never Oyster Shell Gin, vermouth, sherry, champagne mignonette) and the Rover Reviver (Jameson, coffee liqueur, cold brew, demerara sugar.)

The venue’s good bones are jazzed up with plush and velvet-y banquettes, and a dramatic floral installation downstairs that spills across an exposed-brick wall. And while the bar was once hidden from the street, with blacked-out windows and a heavy wooden door, it now opens onto the pavement and the windows allow you to peek inside.

Contact Details

Updated: February 21st, 2024

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.