The Royal Leichhardt
After a bit of a revamp, The Royal is restoring some drinking and dining life back into Norton Street. Downstairs doesn’t look like much, but venture up a level; the Botanicals restaurant is an Inner West appropriation of an English countryside pub.
The dining room proves a peaceful spot for a Sunday lunch. Dusky teal walls and fresh flowers evoke a country manor, teamed with industrial touches like glowing pendant lights and tarnished gold tabletops. The beer garden, with its pot plant wall and almost open roof, is perfect for a chilled drink. Cocktails follow a fruity theme, such as the Botanical Cup - a blend of Tanqueray, pear, quince and lemon.
To eat, there are American inspired dishes as well as more traditional pub classics. Gather some friends to tackle a kilo of sticky chicken wings, or pick at tender five-spiced salt and pepper squid, topped with spring onion, chili and fresh coriander.
Service is relaxed, with cutlery presented in timber buckets that double as table numbers. Smaller buckets serve as vehicles for twice-cooked chips, well seasoned with flaky sea salt. Order them as a side with horseradish mayo, or alongside a perfect pulled pork roll comprised of a charred, soft white bun, sweet meat, melted cheese, paprika aioli and tangy cabbage coleslaw. Round out the carb-loading with a dessert of chubby doughnut fingers; the brioche-like dough is shaped and fried to order, given a liberal coat of cinnamon sugar and served with a warm, bitter chocolate sauce.
Originally published on Broadsheet