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Published July 23rd 2012
24/7 Pub Grub at its Best - Crown Hotel, Surry Hills
300g Black Angus Steak - cooked just the way I like it! Just see how succulent it looks. It was worth going carnivore. $19.50 quality at $10
Mexican Mondays, are a marvelous treat to shrare with friends. Olay!
Historically, I'm not a big fan of pub food as it is the same oh same oh type menu with rather average quality food. Does the trick if you are hungry but would not hurry back, if at all.
So when I received an invite to the Crown Hotel Players Lounge in Surry Hills for some 'Pub Grub', I thought I would give it a go, just to see if my luck would change in a big city.
Regal Crown blackboard specials. Great winter warmers.
Eureka! This is not your ordinary 'Pub Grub'. The concept is the same, however the standard and quality has reached new heights to my surprise and delight.
At $10 for a hearty sized meal, the price for Crown's Pub Grub is stuck in the 80's, yet the menu and quality is up with the times. The only catch is that you have to order a drink, with a meal purchase. With drinks at pub prices, it won't break the bank.
Quickly scanning the menu I found the obligatory and expected steak and chicken schnitzel meals, along with the usual fan fare of burgers.
Chicken Schnitzel, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The chips were great - crunchy lightly salted. Not the soggy soft type! No pre-cooked and warmed up later food.
Then it became more interesting with a Ravioli Napolitano - spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli served in a Napolitano sauce and a pasta of the day. Hmm a Warm Chicken Salad - spiced chicken strips with cherry tomatoes, lettuce, avocado and onion. Warm Beef Salad - tender beef strips with asparagus, cherry tomatoes and a Thai spicy dressing.
Displayed on the rather regal crown blackboard was the pasta of the day - Chorizo, Rocket and Mushroom Pasta and ohh two good winter warmers; Lamb Shanks and Beef and Vegetable Pie. Apart from the $10 price, I temporarily forgot I was in a pub.
The following week's specials. Atlantic Salmon. Spicy Buffalo Wings was a tasty delight tonight.
Crown Hotel is open 24/7 and so is their pizza menu. Next time you are out and about in Sydney and get the munchies at some unearthly hour, pop in and grab a delicious traditional thin style base pizza. With six flavours to choose from, it will please any palate. Margarita, BBQ Meatlovers, Proscuitto, El Supremo, Chicken and Vegetarian.
I'm liking this menu, I could eat here more than once. Oh, the essential taste test first before I make that decision. In my view, the best way to judge the food and chef is to order a steak medium rare, as there is no hiding or masking what you are about to eat, so I did.
$10 Meal Menu. Available midday to 9pm 7 days a week. With drink purchase. A very inexpensive meal without the hassles.
The menu stated 300g Black Angus Steak with mash and vegetables, Seriously, you would be hard pressed to purchase the food ingredients and cook it yourself for that price.
Black Angus it was, succulent, juicy and cooked to pink in the middle. I ate every piece; so worth going carnivore for the night. The mash was a smooth, the veggies were fresh and slightly seasoned. Not the usual frozen soft over cooked kinds I have consumed in the past.
Birtd's eye view of our meal, mmmm getting hungry, put down the camera and begin eating!
I just had to nab a few chips from my friend's plate to taste. Definitely freshly cooked, crisp with a an interesting spice. Her salad looked alive and had bounce, again a sure sign of freshness.
Our desserts, yummy moist choc cake and apple cake, both with luscious strawberries and choc ice cream.
The servings were more than ample and we were full, yet there is always room for dessert.
Deciding to leave the order to the staff was a wise step. Two delicious cakes arrived, each with chocolate ice cream and rich red strawberries. Forgetting all my manners, I quickly grabbed the chocolate mud cake, pushing the apple cake to my friend; with a smile. I felt a little guilty and decided to share.
Very glad I did, both cakes were oh so moist and an interesting change to have chocolate ice cream served with the strawberries. I am not sure if they make the cake on the premises, the chocolate ice cream tasted more of a commercial quality which is fine, this is a pub and would not expect more, however the strawberries were succulent and fresh.
Desserts are extra, with the savings on your main it is worth the $9 and a great way to top off the night.
Toasting to a good night, a great dinner and a decision to try out some good Pub Grub.
You always feel more satisfied after you have eaten good quality food. We licked our lips, kicked back and cheered to a good night's meal with a glass of wine, vowing to return after work again.
I know we chose the usual standards of steak and schnitzel, however we thought it would be a good guideline to make a comparison. We can certainly say it was a great quality meal.
Upgraded and refurbished Crown Hotel on the corner of Crown and Cleveland streets Surry Hills.
Just had to ask the manager questions about the food and price. Here is what I found out.
All meat comes from the dry age specialists, Havericks Meat. They use Black Angus beef for the burgers and sirloins. Eggs come from the Southern Highlands and most of the herbs are grown right on level 3 at the hotel. The vegetables are purchased fresh and locally. The chips are 'premium' quality.
It may cost them more to produce the food, yet the manager wanted the best quality for his customers, ensuring happy clients who return time after time.
Wait, there's more!
After reading the blackboard 'What's On @ Players' I wandered back the following week and found more great reasons to frequent the Crown Hotel in Surry Hills.
There is always something on each night of the week at the Crown Hotel.
Celebrate with friends each Monday night when Mexico comes to the Crown Hotel with more great value Pub Grub, and what do you drink with Mexican food? Tequila!
Mexican Monday nights. Olay!
Order a plate of man size tacos generously filled with their own Angus ground beef, beans, cheese and a delightfully sweet and tangy tomato sauce at $5 a plate of two, or order three soft tortillas for $10 and down a Tequila shot to get the full Mexican experience.
Man sized Tacos and Tortillas are great finger food.
Nachos are a fun dip and eat dish to share with friends along with a jug of Margarita for after work drinks. It is quite a well proportioned dish with more beef than beans, if fact quite a lot of beef. I know I am repeating myself, yet you can really taste the quality of beef they use.
A Mexican delight! Nachos and Margaritas go so well together.
Wear a wide brimmed Mexican hat to add to the festivities, ask the bar staff to borrow some for the night.
When you hear a Mexican song played, race to the bar and order their discounted Corona beers and Margarita Jugs are just $10 a jug. Don't worry, you won't go thirsty, the songs are played quite often. You just have to remain sober enough to recognise them.
Tuesday Meat Raffles
Tuesday Meat Raffle nights - a must event with pub goers.
It wouldn't be an Aussie pub if they don't hold that age old tradition of a great meat raffle. You buy your tickets in hope and a sense of fun, at $3 for 5 tickets, it is a bargain.
10 winning packs. Choose your win! Beef, chicken, schnitzels.
Everyone loves them. You cheer the ones who win. The winners proudly take home their bounty and cook up a storm during the week. Returning the following week to brag about what they cooked and how good the meat tasted, just to make fellow drinkers green with envy. It's always a fun event.
I just had to go back on Tuesday night to try my luck in a good old fashioned meat raffle. I didn't win, maybe I didn't by enough tickets! There is always next time. Dinner of Spicy Buffalo Wings $6. There were three, I had eaten one, then remembered to take the photo.
Now here is a man who wants to win a meat tray.
And a winner is ... Yooo Hoooo!
Another happy winner. There are 10 to be won on the night.
Wednesday Night - Members Draw
You don't have to pay to become a member to Crown Hotel, although it is very much worth it. Fill out a form hand it to the staff and in return they give you a badge and number. You can even go online and register.
Here is what you receive as a member when you present your members badge:
$6 House wines for $4
$5.20 Schooners of beers for $4.60
$4 Middies of beer for $$3.60
Mon - Fri 8am-8pm
Perfect to make your $10 Pub Grub meal even more appealing.
Turn up on Wednesday nights for their 'Member's Badge Draw' and you could win some big cash.
Current member's draw prize money, I can't guarantee you will win this amount as it rolls over each week if not won on the night. Hurry down and get your member's badge.
At present it is up to over $4,000. Ka-ching, ka-ching!
Another reason to make it a ritual and eat at Crown on Wednesday nights. You wouldn't want to miss your name being drawn.
Thursday Night - Second Chance Draw
In case you could not make Wednesday night with a pressing meeting or appointment for the Members Badge Draw, you have a second chance to win, although the prize is reduced to $150 at present, it could pay for even more $10 meals.
A Members Badge can get you great drink discounts, just remember to bring them along.
If you found out they find out the drew your number and you weren't there, you always drown your sorrows with their discounted beers.
A massive projector is a sure sign to draw a crowd when sports are playing. So much more fun to root for your team with fellow revellers and talk about how the players should have played each point. After the match, you can hold post-mortems for the loosing teams over a few drinks and discuss what they did wrong.
Get involved and get excited with big screen sports viewing.
A word of warning, you are in South Sydney, the heart of Rabbitoh territory, so you had better wear green and red for the footy, or be prepared to have a few healthy discussions with the locals during the games.
Whatever the outcome, it will be an exciting afternoon over a few drinks and great Pub Grub.
A Little Bit of History
The Crown Hotel was built in the 1800's. Regarded as a 'working class' pub, it predominantly served the tradesmen and labourers within the area. The days where floors were covered with sawdust, I guess to soak up the beer spillage of rowdy clientele and prevent slips.
Evolving over the years with several refurbishments and a part top floor extension.
A large copper dome was part of the original roof line. Over time the weather eroded the copper and the dome was removed. With the latest refurbishment a replica of the original dome was made and rests on top of the building restoring Crown Hotel to her former glory.
Crown Hotel restored and refurbished - for a new 'working class' clientele.
For the past 31 years, it has been in the caring hands of the Savage family. The next generation is ensuring it remains one of the best and most frequented hotels in the area.
Times have changed with a new 'working class' clientele. Although the essence of the traditional pub still remains.