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Saturday 16 December 2017

Sydney pub favourite re-opens with a gourmet vibe

One of Sydney's favourite pubs has a whole new gourmet look with Merivale re-opening the recently acquired Hotel Centennial on Woollahra’s Oxford Street.

Executive chef Ben Greeno, from The Paddington just up the road, will preside over the kitchen, collaborating with Fred’s Danielle Alvarez on the dining room and bar menu. Greeno will be joined by head chef James Evangelinos, fresh from a stint in New York.

Greeno and Alvarez have created a menu shaped with a Mediterranean accent. The aim appears to be simple dishes done well.

“This is a nod to Southern Europe; food inspired by the season and what people want to eat,” Greeno says. “It’s what you’d like to make at home, but rather go out for.”

There will be a selection of flat breads from the wood-fired oven, such as minced lamb, merguez, yoghurt and pickled chilis or ‘fennel, greens and garlic cream’, along with simple pastas and salads.

Seafood will feature prominently with dishes like wood-oven-cooked squid with aioli and cherry tomatoes, and clams, fennel, chilli, roast bread and rouille’ among the starters.

Mains include grilled flounder with seaweed salsa verde and snapper fillet with tomato, verdicchio, lemon and capers. Other homely-sounding favourites include whole roasted chicken, Rangers Valley cote de bouef and steak frites.

Desserts will include lemon verbena custard tart with fresh peaches and nectarine; and roasted figs with rose and yoghurt sorbet.

The Mediterranean influence follows through to the bar menu, with simple snacks like grilled fish with rocket and lemon, along with charcuterie choices, cheeses and the same selection of flat breads.

Megan Sullivan, previously restaurant manager of Merivale’s est., will be leading the team on the floor.
The Merivale Group acquired Hotel Centennial on November 22. While there are no plans for a major refurbishment of the space, the front bar will be refreshed in the new year.

Hotel Centennial, 88 Oxford Street, Woollahra, Sydney.

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