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I found my new favorite place in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia, recently: a pub/restaurant called Chelsea Hotel that made me happy for its abundance of light, its beautiful patio in the heart of the city and its myriad hanging plants that brought nature indoors.
The place was packed around 6 p.m. on a Friday night, mostly with young hipsters listening to disco tunes and a lot of David Bowie from the live DJ.
Food was mostly American fare, with some Aussie twists. The fried blue corn chips bar snack was perfect to share between two people ($4 AUD). The chips were freshly made and had the ideal amount of salt, and came with sour cream to dip them in. I admit, I’m a pretty picky vegetarian eater, but I’m trying to expand my palate more in Australia, including noshing on this sour cream side. I actually liked it a lot because it cooled off the warm chips and had a nice flavor to it.
All “between bread” options come with thick-cut fries, which are my favorite type. I’m not a shoestring gal and never could find enough thick-cut fries in the States, but in Australia, everywhere I’ve had fries, they’ve been nice and thick. Score! Check out the chicken burger ($19), which came with habanero mayo (mayo is also big in Australia, and you’ll start to enjoy it on restaurant sandwiches if you don’t already), jalapeño, tomato and pineapple:
I nommed on the spiced vege burger ($16), which came with yoghurt, tahini, tomato and lettuce. I swear I eat more than veggie burgers, but I was craving one this night, and I loved the spiced patty made with black beans and served with those delicious fries. Note: Aussies call ketchup “tomato sauce,” and be sure to ask for it if you like it, because it doesn’t always automatically come with fries.
The bar was fully stocked with beer, wine and fruity cocktails, and Chelsea Hotel also offers several “cocktails to share,” which serve four people and are $25. There was lots of tumbler shaking at the bar, so try one of their signature drinks if you’re craving a cocktail.
There are plenty of televisions playing Australian sport (that’s singular — even if you’re talking about multiple types of athletics, it’s still “sport” here), and the vibe is friendly, relaxed and chatty. Beautiful weather beckons people to the spacious patio, and I’d say it’s hard not to instantly fall in love with this spot’s tasty eats and comfortable atmosphere.
Learn more about Chelsea Hotel here.