Best Pub Food

Sydney Pub Of The Year

Best Pub Food

Reviews

One Hat Restaurant 2017

September 5th, 2016

Damn, The Welcome Hotel is a fine pub – the kind you wish you lived near so you could drink craft beer in civilised surroundings and even bring your dog. It’d also mean you could regularly eat Daniel Mulligan’s food. He used to work as Head Chef at Pilu – The Sardinian two-hatter by the sea. There’s a nod to the cucina of the Mediterranean island here, but the menu extends to other regions – as does the wine list. It’s extensive, but we’re given insightful tasting notes by the informed staff who help make decisions easy. You’ll want to order the pappardelle with braised oxtail ragu, gremolata and shaved grana padano. It’s rich but has a depth of flavours that make it memorable. The spatchcock may be king-sized but it’s expertly roasted and filled with mascarpone, lemon, oregano and chilli. Finish with the chocolate mousse with dates, candied walnuts and then retreat to your house (ideally nearby) to rub your belly.

Pro tip: The pub menu is equally excellent and made in the same kitchen.

GOOD FOOD

“Damn, The Welcome Hotel is a fine pub”

One Hat Restaurant 2016

September 7th, 2015

What a difference a new fit-out and change of name makes. With contemporary art on the walls, soft banquettes and ticking-covered cushions, the smart designer vibe is better attuned to chef Daniel Mulligan’s smartly designed Sardinian menu. Mulligan’s ‘risotto’ of Sardinian fregola with Queensland spanner crab thrills with its ultra-fresh crab meat. Carnivores are strangely bewitched by a vegetarian dish of pumpkin culurgiones (a type of Sardinian ravioli) with confit leek, hazelnuts, burnt butter and sage. Mirto-infused cherries offer intelligent balance to finish an outstanding meal.

Read full article from GoodFood

GOOD FOOD

“With contemporary art on the walls, soft banquettes and ticking-covered cushions, the smart designer vibe is better attuned to chef Daniel Mulligan’s smartly designed Sardinian menu.”

Our Favourite Sydney Pubs

June 6th, 2016

At the Welcome a degree of extra care has been given to the menus so that the craft beers on tap reflect the evolving boutique brewing scene in Sydney, and also match the season. In summer you can expect a high rotation of tropical pales and sessionable golden ales, but come the wintry months you’ll want to wrap you laughing gear around the toasty, bitter dark ale from Tassie’s Moo Brew, or treat yourself to the resinous, fruity aromas in Mornington’s imperial IPA. If you don’t know what you like or don’t recognise the line-up on your visit grab a tasting paddle for $20 and work it out the fun way.

Read full article from Time Out

TIME OUT

“It’s a truly great pub that manages to strike an easy balance between being a familiar, cosy watering hole and raising the bar where it counts – the food and drink.”

Emily Lloyd-Tait | Time Out

Ajò at The Welcome Hotel by Winestate Magazine

September/October, 2015

The recipient of the Best Pub Food Awards for two years in a row, The Welcome Hotel, has come a long way from it’s 19th century working class watering hole […] The three magnets are: 15 craft beer taps, an ace wine list and Ajò, a sleek Italian restaurant helmed by head chef Daniel Mulligan

Read full article from Winestate Magazine

WINESTATE MAGAZINE

“The three magnets are: 15 craft beer taps, an ace wine list and Ajò, a sleek Italian restaurant helmed by head chef Daniel Mulligan”

Best Pub Food in Sydney 2015

June, 2015

Proving you can’t keep a good pub down, Rozelle’s Welcome Hotel walked away with the Best Pub Food award for the second year running thanks to their excellent bar menu of counter classics with a strong Italian accent.

Read full article from Time Out Sydney

TIME OUT SYDNEY

“Excellent bar menu of counter classics with a strong Italian accent”

Ajò at The Welcome Hotel by Sydney Scoop

March 19th, 2015

Everything was a close to perfect as it can get. Everything, including the match of food and wine and service and charming venue. My only regret is that I didn’t start with one of the extensive craft beers on tap. (Today’s Taps – 15 on the list – was presented as a sheet with the wine list.) Or, that I didn’t have enough time or belly room to kick on with a craft beer at the bar afterwards. And, my only question is- can I go back for lunch again tomorrow?

Read full article from SydneyScoop.com

SYDNEY SCOOP

“Going past the food, Ajò sits in its totality, where I’d like every restaurant to be”

Sydney’s Best Fine Dining Italian Restaurants of 2015

March 5th, 2015

What a difference a new fit-out and change of name makes. With contemporary art on the walls, soft banquettes and ticking-covered cushions, the smart designer vibe is better attuned to chef Daniel Mulligan’s smartly designed Sardinian menu. Mulligan’s ‘risotto’ of Sardinian fregola with Queensland spanner crab thrills with its ultra-fresh crab meat. Carnivores are strangely bewitched by a vegetarian dish of pumpkin culurgiones (a type of Sardinian ravioli) with confit leek, hazelnuts, burnt butter and sage. Mirto-infused cherries offer intelligent balance to finish an outstanding meal.

Read full article from GoodFood

GOOD FOOD

“With contemporary art on the walls, soft banquettes and ticking-covered cushions, the smart designer vibe is better attuned to chef Daniel Mulligan’s smartly designed Sardinian menu.”

Top 10 pubs and clubs for a summer drink in Sydney

December 24, 2014

This Welcome has some of the best pub food in Sydney thanks to former Pilu at Freshwater head chef Daniel Mulligan on the pans. The new-ish Ajo Restaurant has a leafy undercover, outdoor terrace that’s a top spot for tucking into Mulligan’s Sardinian-inspired fare. Bottarga-crusted swordfish belly with pickled beetroots and grapefruit puree, say, or fregola risotto with Queensland spanner crab, almonds and marjoram.

There’s also a cosy beer garden to knock back some fried zucchini flowers and sink something from the blockbuster beer list.

Read full article from Good Food

GOOD FOOD

“This Welcome has some of the best pub food in Sydney thanks to former Pilu at Freshwater head chef Daniel Mulligan on the pans.”
Callan Boys | Good Food

 

Sydney’s Best Italian Restaurants

December 2, 2014

Just around the corner from Rosso Pomodoro is chef Daniel Mulligan’s Italian restaurant in the Welcome Hotel. With nods to Pilu’s Sardinian cuisine, make sure you leave room for cheese.

Read full article from The Daily Telegraph

GOOD FOOD

“Make sure you leave room for cheese”
Victoria Hannaford | The Daily Telegraph

The Welcome Hotel Welcomes Ajò

November 26, 2014

Head chef Daniel Mulligan has brought his passion for Sardinian food to the table with a menu that brings together the best of regional Italian fare and Australian produce. Mulligan’s love of cucina Italiana was nurtured during his recent travels in regional Italy and under the tutelage of Giovanni Pilu during his eight-years as head chef at Pilu at Freshwater. But for Mulligan, inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. “Whether it’s a meal I had in Italy, a photo I saw, or an old cookbook I flipped through, I use my cooking experience to shape my new menu items,” he says.

Read full article from Broadsheet

BROADSHEET

“With its Sardinian-inspired menu, sophisticated new fit-out and extensive selection of craft brews, Ajò is not your ordinary pub bistro.”

Ajò at The Welcome Hotel

November 19, 2014

Ajò literally translated means ‘Let’s go’ In Sardinian dialect and it’s also the name of the restaurant inside the Welcome Hotel, run by Daniel Mulligan, who used to be Pilu at Freshwater’s head chefs for about 10 years. Giovanni Pilu taught him well and Mulligan learnt quickly and soon developed his personal style. Now running the burners at Ajò this comes through loud and clear and I must say I was impressed.

The venue, a renovated old pub in Rozelle, is modern bit still old-fashioned comfortable with an inside and an outside dining area (protected from the elements) and the space is airy and immediately makes you feel at ease. The chairs are simple, straight café-style and the banquettes extremely comfortable and upholstered in a grey-olive leather that works really well with the overall colour scheme and the wait staffs’ aprons.

As we relaxed at a table to peruse the menu I felt like a beer and asked (foolishly) what do you have on tap? Apparently the owner is a craft-beer aficionado and they have no less than 17 beers on tap and I was in beer heaven. Not only do they have an incredible range of beers, they know how to pour it and serve it. Top marks! Liam looks after the wine list and it’s just as impressive. The wines by the glass are listed by glass or carafe and the bottles by weight and origin. One thing I did notice is that the choice of wines is superb and everything is very reasonably priced.

Daniel Mulligan’s pedigree is impressive and I expected a lot and I got it. Starting with an amuse bouche, little deep-fried balls with pork mince and a chilli mayo were terrific and our entrées consisted of a ‘Bottarga crusted swordfish belly, pickled beetroots, grapefruit’ and it was a revelation. Crusty crunchy bottarga with a strong umami flavour encased a wonderfully fatty belly and the sourness of the pickled yellow baby beetroots cut through the fat perfectly. Then we had the ‘Zucchini flowers cooked in a fennel seed batter, with goat’s cheese, pine nuts and thyme’ and I confess to having found a new favourite for stuffed zucchini flowers. The fennel seed batter works incredibly well and I would come back just for these.

A few years ago I invented a pasta dish, which I called ‘Pasta Francesco’. It’s fresh pasta with lemon zest in the dough, then quickly cooked in salt water and topped with lemon juice and burnt butter. Quite a few chefs have cooked this for me but Mulligan always made the best version and I am glad to report he still does. This was our next course and to me this is everything Italian cuisine stands for; fresh ingredients, few but punchy flavours and great texture and to me this dish was a 10/10.  As this dish is not on the menu I suggest you ask for it when you book; I’m sure Mulligan would be only too happy to make it for you!

Next we had the South Australian Mulloway with eggplant, another superb dish with great contrasting textures and the main course was ‘Seared mutton back strap, broad bean, baby artichokes, olive caramel’ and it was another winner. Beautifully rare, rested meat; just beautiful. Let’s not forget the wonderful bread rolls: they bake their own and they’re superb, served fresh out of the oven and the EVO that comes with it is quite peppery.

For pre-dessert we had a panna-cotta with blood orange sorbet and to finish a cheese platter with a choice of Swiss raw milk cheeses, even including Sbrinz. Most impressive indeed.

Service was efficient and friendly and Steph, a knowledgeable lady originally from Argentina, did a superb job of looking after us and seemed to know what we wanted at all times.

Would I go back? In a flash

Would I recommend this place to my friends: Absolutely

The ‘je ne sais quoi’: the easy, laid-back atmosphere

Best dish: Pasta Francesco

Noise: 68 DB

Score: 8/10

AUSTRALIAN GOURMET PAGES

“Daniel Mulligan is now running the burners at Ajò and I must say I was impressed.”
Franz Scheurer | Australian Gourmet Pages

Ajó: A slice of Sardinia at the Welcome Hotel

November 17, 2014

Head down any one of Balmain’s winding backstreets and you’re sure to stumble across one of the many local pubs that the area is famous for.

One of these historic pubs is the Welcome Hotel which was founded in 1878 and still retains a local charm, with the benefits of a recent make-over and the brilliant introduction of head chef Daniel Mulligan (previously head chef at Pilu at Freshwater).

The pub recently welcomed Ajò restaurant into a cosy and sophisticated dining space, with sheltered outdoor seating to be enjoyed in the upcoming summer months.

Chef Mulligan brings a Sardinian inspired menu to the backstreets of Balmain. At a glance the new menu of regional Italian fare looked to be an exciting journey into one of my favourite cuisines. Accompanying the new menu is an impressive list of Italian and NSW wines with an equally impressive array of local craft beers for the beer lovers.

Read the full article from Food, Booze and Shoes

FOOD BOOZE & SHOES

“The pub recently welcomed Ajò restaurant into a cosy and sophisticated dining space, with sheltered outdoor seating to be enjoyed in the upcoming summer months.”
Franz Scheurer | Australian Gourmet Pages

Reliable Rozelle pub The Welcome now offers Italian

October 28, 2014

If I told you chef Daniel Mulligan was manning the pans of a restaurant in a hotel you could be forgiven for thinking Guinness pie might appear on an Irish-inspired gastro-pub menu. Of course, this is Australia. The ancestry and experiences of its inhabitants is as rich and complex as the tapestry of our culinary landscape.

In truth, a surname has next to nothing to do with one’s understanding and capabilities of a cuisine. You see, the new restaurant at The Welcome Hotel, Ajò, is more caponata than colcannon, and a damn fine representation of cucina Italiana it is.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

“Ajò, is more caponata than colcannon, and a damn fine representation of cucina Italiana it is.”