Thursday, October 04, 2007

Orient Hotel, George St, The Rocks

Orient Hotel, George St, The Rocks
Thursday 4 October, 2007
I've never been to the Orient Hotel before. I've walked past it a thousand times and I didn't realise it had a small beer garden out the back. Today, my lunch buddy recommended it as we wandered down into The Rocks on this warm & windy day. We were looking for a pub meal and The Orient was able to accommodate.
The Orient has been around since 1844 so is an institution. Little did I know there were several floors of bars, restaurants etc on offer. As their promotional material states:
"Our street level Public Bar is a relaxed gathering place by day with great Aussie bar food, icy-cold beer and friendly staff. Walk through to the sandstone courtyard and find the perfect spot to take time out with a cool drink. By night, the Orient party's, with live bands in the Public Bar every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Check our Gig Guide for more info on who’s rocking the Rocks.
Our stylish Restaurant on the first floor of the hotel is the local’s choice for a business lunch or relaxed dinner date, with a menu of modern Australian dishes and international favourites. Go to the Restaurant page to have a look at our Menus. Also on the first floor is our Atrium Bistro with classic pub food in a relaxed setting. Check out the menu at our Bistro page.
On the top floor of the Orient you’ll find our newly refurbished Rooftop Nightclub, where top DJs play hot party music every Friday & Saturday night, 10pm til 3am. The room is also available for private functions."
We walked in from the corner entrance on George & Argyle St. It's a little dark but as you weave through the public bar to the beer garden you reach a small slice of sunlight. If they could eradicate the pigeons it would be sensational. The outdoor area houses several trees that the beer garden has been built around and there are laminated menus on each table. It's your traditional pub far with old favourites like burgers, calamari, Caesar salad, fish & chips, steak sandwich and bangers & mash.
To order you just return inside to the bar and order. You are competing with the pub goers so be prepared to wait (unless you get there early). There were only 2 staff working the bar which was surprising. After ordering and paying you are handed a table number and directed to a side stand to collect napkins and cutlery. The service wasn't warm or friendly they were merely going through the motions.. The beer garden filled up quickly and were lucky to secure one of the few tables in the shade.
We both ordered the Orient Beef Burger w/bacon, cheese, onion, tomato & chips. This was very reasonable at $12.50. I was impressed at how quickly the meals arrived and they were huge. The burgers were packed full with fillings and they were easier to eat by separating them in two. It also made them last longer. The fries were OK and would have been a lot better with some sauce on the side.
For a relaxed lunchtime feed The Orient is a cheap & cheerful option.
Orient Hotel - 89 George St, The Rocks - (02) 9251 1255


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