Soon the weather is going to change, and you’ll be stuck in the city as the corridors between huge office buildings act as wind tunnels and the thought of eating your home brought salad again for lunch is making you dry-retch. You need something classic, something hearty. The Duke of Clarence is providing the classic English pub-fare that is going to help you through the winter blues and beyond this year.
It’s moody and dark, with it’s leather upholstered booths and wrap around seating, matched with the dark stained timber benches and panelling. It was a combined effort by famed set designed Sara Mathers and the local team of Steel & Stitch. It’s true to its lineage of English pub culture, without the football fans.
The food aims to replicate the best of English pub lunches and it isn’t an English lunch a classic English pie. The pie has a flavour of the week, which is paired with a specific gravy. It comes with buttery peas and mashed potato with a thick filling, I had pork, with a crunchy and deeply golden crust, everything you’d expect. There are other classic pub dishes such as the Lamb Livers, for those English ex-pats missing a taste of home and those on the more adventurous side, as well as the delicious Sardines on toast with a horseradish crème fraiche, a definite highlight and something that should not be missed. Couple all of this with a Beetroot, Walnut, Feta and Apple salad and you’ve had yourself a traditional feast.
“It’s real British comfort food, but with Sydney still firmly in mind” explains The Nottingham-raised chef David Penistone
On the drinks front, much like the pie, it’s not an English pub without English beer and Old Speckled Hen is a highlight, with no carbonation, the taste is smoother, creamier and sweeter with a strong brown sugar note. The pub has to compete with it’s neighbours, and manages a point of different with a 500-strong line-up of spirits, 80% of which are from the British Isles. Amongst all the beers and spirits, wine is definitely not forgotten, with a large European contingent and a range of Aussie highlights peppers throughout.
On the whole, the experience is as comforting as the hearty meals. The undeniable Englishness is cute, with ex-pats coming in to specifically ask for Speckled Hen or a Gammon Steak. It’s a slice of the British Isles, tucked in to Sydney’s CBD
The Duke of Clarence
Laneway 152, 156 Clarence Street, Sydney
Lunch - Monday – Friday, 12pm- 3pm,
Open hours – Monday - Saturday 4pm – 2am