Vanessa: Saturday lunching is somewhat of a favourite pastime for Team FFS and the destination of choice this weekend was The Royal Hotel in Paddington. Offering a number of different dining areas depending on your vibe and group size, The Royal is a perfect place to graze over a laid-back long lunch (or dinner!).
We were seated inside on the verandah level and were instantly charmed by the white, bright interior, vibrant blue cushions and fresh flowers that made for the perfect setting for our lazy lunching.
I had prepped for the potential onslaught of food by not eating that day, unfortunately my fellow FFS members could not say the same..although they powered through regardless.
We started with a round of starters to share and I have two words…waffle fries ($10). These are a must order. Crispy , salty (possibly too much) exterior with a soft potato interior, served up with a lime aioli and chipotle mayo these are a winner .Whether you have them as a side dish with your meal, or just as a snack or starter…all I can say is try them..trust me!
The seared scallops with miso butter and parsnip puree ($17) are juicy and plump. The seafood scent is somewhat overpowering but the scallops are well matched with the puree and it’s a very pretty dish.
We also tried the smoked ham & cheese croquettes with curries mayo ($14). There is a strong flavour of dill which I absolutely love and the croquettes are super crunchy. The curried mayo had us all reminiscing about the McDonald’s curried sauce as the taste is very similar..it works well with the croquettes.
Feeling a little to content after a round of starters , we took a littler breather, sipped on crisp rose and watched the fellow Saturday lunch goers settling in.
The mains arrived and one thing was instantly clear. We had gotten a little bit chip happy (as you will see in the photos below) and we definitely consumed more than our fair share of starchy carbs that day!
The first thing we all commented on was the portion size of the meals. They were very substantial given the price (and the suburb J ).
Alex had the Parmesan & Herb Chicken Schnitzel with chips, slaw, aioli and lemon ($20). The crispy schnitzel was coated with a delicious blend of herbs and parmesan that was complimented so well by the zesty lemon. The accompanying slaw was a little bland but did its job in breaking up the heavier fried elements on the plate.
Bianca AKA The Burger Queen, remained true to her passion and ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger ($19) with Dijon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheddar + smoked tomato aioli. Overall, it was a well-presented burger but the patty was on the dry side and could have done with a little more sauce to lubricate the meat. This also came with a side of waffle fries which were actually better than the ones we had to start as they were less salty. Bianc requested bacon be added to the burger but it arrived at the table with prosciutto instead, whilst a little odd on a burger it actually worked and elevated each bite. So a fortunate accident. She awarded it a 2.9/5 pickles.
In an attempt to have something that wasn’t fried, I opted for the butternut pumpkin ravioli with blue cheese and walnuts ($21). The large round ravioli were filled with sweet pumpkin with complimented the sharpness of the blue cheese well. Unfortunately the ravioli was a little on the tough side which meant it had a slightly rubbery texture, but that’s easily fixed with cooking time. This was a great dish because although it was a substantial serve it wasn’t heavy and didn’t leave me feeling overly full. Which was just as good as we had a whole bowl of Parmesan and Truffle fries ($14) to get through!
Now although I was raving earlier about the waffle fries, these bad boys also deserve their fifteen minutes of fame. Thoroughly coated with truffle salt and grated parmesan cheese, these are some seriously moreish fries that really pack a punch with flavour .
Although dessert was tempting, we couldn’t physically consume another bite so we parked the sweet treats for the next visit.It’s a good thing we were so full or we probably would have done some damage of the carb loading variety at Sonoma next door .
The Royal Hotel Paddington is definitely a venue to put on your radar if you are looking for a well priced, classy pub meal pushing out smooth tunes in a chilled setting. It’s great for a gathering with a large group or a more intimate meal for two. Whatever you choose…don’t forget the fries..both varieties if you can 🙂
Photos by Alex
*ForFoodsSake dined as guests of SweatyBetty PR, all opinions however are our own. A big thank you to the lovely Emma for looking after us.