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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Marrickville Ritz Hotel, Marrickville

pub grub steak burger at marrickville ritz hotel

It's bright, it's flashy, it's The Ritz. The newest pub addition to the Illawarra Road strip in Marrickville is a glittering beacon of bling in between Banana Joes and the hole-in-the-wall Marrickville Pork Roll shop. The space was formerly a hokey arcade that housed a shoe shop and Vietnamese cafe.

When the owners of the struggling Henson Park Hotel finally won approval to transfer their licence to this new premises, they gutted the entire arcade, converting the space to a family-oriented gastro pub. It's a huge shift for Marrickville, traditionally dominated by pho noodle houses that close by 9pm, reflecting the changing demographic of the area. And in a happy ending scenario, the Henson Park Hotel has also been resurrected under new owner Ray Reilly (ex-Trinity Bar, Surry Hills) with a similar pitch of being a family-friendly local.

bling at marrickville ritz hotel
Bling bling inside the Marrickville Ritz hotel

On a Sunday evening, we find the place filled with families, heaving with high chairs and $8.50 kids meals. By 7pm the kids start to trail out as bedtime approaches, and an older crowd settles in.

bar at marrickville ritz hotel

Inside the decor is a stylised blend of modern with rustic -pallets repurposed as tables, cushioned banquettes, caged light fittings and steel drums that have been converted into padded chairs. The open area out the front is also inviting to passersby: there's no door or closed up windows, just a ramp that leads directly into the main dining room.

barrel table at marrickville ritz hotel
Barrel tables at the back bar

They've engineered enticements for practically every night of the week too. Tuesdays are $10 schnitzels, Thursdays are $15 surf and turf and Saturdays have $10 buckets of sticky wings all day.

matilda bay sparkling lager beer at marrickville ritz hotel
Matilda Bay sparkling lager $6.50

There's a good range of bottled beers (including Young Henry's brewed in Newtown) plus four Matilda Bay beers on tap (sparkling lager, golden ale, amber ale and cloudy ale). Cocktails range from $10-$15 and wines by the glass cost $6.50-$9.

The menu is a mishmash of everything: classic burgers, steaks and schnitzels share the page with pulled pork rolls, Asian beef ribs, cheese burgers sliders and barbecue lamb rump with quinoa salad.

salt and pepper squid seafood at marrickville ritz hotel
Salt and pepper squid $8

Order and pay at the special food orders register right down the back, take your order number flag, and your food will be delivered to your table. Our food arrived quickly and all at once.

sticky ginger chicken wings bucket at marrickville ritz hotel
Bucket of sticky ginger chicken wings $15

We started with the salt and pepper squid from the Share Items menu, and the bucket of sticky ginger chicken wings that were sadly more sweet than gingery.

pimms cocktail jug at marrickville ritz hotel
Pimms No. 1 cocktail jug

chicken schnitzel at marrickville ritz hotel
Chicken schnitzel, fries and salad $16
[we ordered as part of the 2 meals for $20 on Sundays]

When we visited a couple of weeks ago, the Sunday special was 2 meals for either $20 or $25, depending on what you chose from a pre-set list. Kids meals were $5. Since then, the Sunday special has changed to $25 or $30 for two meals.

ritz beef burger at marrickville ritz hotel
Ritz beef burger $15.50
[we ordered as part of the 2 meals for $20 on Sundays]

The chicken schnitzel looks just like a map of Australia, perched jauntily on a pile of chips with a side of salad. The Ritz beef burger comes on a softer-style bun, but it's a hefty construction of beef, bacon, sauteed onions, salad, aioli and the requisite beetroot.

chicken breast in green curry sauce at marrickville ritz hotel
Chicken breast in green curry sauce $19
[we ordered as part of the 2 meals for $25 on Sundays]

Phuoc had ordered the green curry chicken because of the mention of coconut foam on the menu, but when the dish arrives there's none to be seen. It's an odd plating of grilled chicken with avocado resting on green beans and wilted spinach with the green curry sauce quarantined in its own separate bowl. The curry has a good amount of heat and spice, but the deconstructed presentation is a little odd and awkward to say the least.

sirloin steak chips and salad at marrickville ritz hotel
200g sirloin steak with chips and salad $18
[we ordered as part of the 2 meals for $25 on Sundays]

I'd stuck with ol' faithful - steak, chips and salad. The sirloin steak is more medium rare than the requested rare, but it's a hearty and satisfying meal overall. And who can say no to a fryer basket presentation of chips? We dip them in the mushroom sauce which is more akin to a heavy gravy.

Overall a relaxed spot for locals that should suit families or late night wanderers just fine.

marrickville ritz hotel

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Marrickville Ritz Hotel on Urbanspoon

Marrickville Ritz Hotel
252-254 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9558 1620

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 10am - 12 midnight
Sunday 10am - 10pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Marrickville - Beejay's and Vesbar Espresso
Marrickville - Cornersmith
Marrickville - Everest Kitchen
Marrickville - Sydney Portugal Community Club
Marrickville - Yen for Viet

18 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/29/2013 02:28:00 am


  • At 8/29/2013 7:07 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Forget Australia; that schnitty looks like a Cylon Raider.

  • At 8/29/2013 9:14 am, Blogger Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    Looks like a fun place to eat at. Chicken wings in buckets? I can't wait to lick my fingers after.. haha

  • At 8/29/2013 9:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, what a change from the previous viet cafe. Where has the cafe gone? We still like PHD down the road.

    Very good location, within the block from Cornersmith.


  • At 8/29/2013 9:47 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Wow - looks pretty flashy, but food needs to match the looks...!

  • At 8/29/2013 11:39 am, Anonymous Kristen said…

    Wow I can't believe how much Marrickville has changed. Ooh la la!

  • At 8/29/2013 2:36 pm, Blogger Felicia @ Next Stop: Food said…

    aww the chicken green curry would have been a disappointment to have it served separately! :(
    But the deals seems pretty awesome to me!! :D
    Another choice to have if not pho!

    - Cassie

  • At 8/29/2013 4:21 pm, Blogger Milktea Eats said…

    loving all the awesome pub grub in a nicer setting popping up everywhere!love the chip fryer bucket!

  • At 8/29/2013 8:59 pm, Anonymous Cooked said…

    Beautiful food images - the place looks great and the pub grub is really well presented. We're launching a new food destination soon, Cooked, check it out.

  • At 8/29/2013 9:22 pm, Anonymous Emily said…

    I love the style of the decor especially the bar area, it is stunning. The chicken wings looked finger lickin' good. I think I can deal with the sweetness ha! How trendy is to tell people that I have spent the weekend at the Ritz eh?

  • At 8/29/2013 11:56 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    lol @ hannah's comment, the schnitzel totally does look like a cylon raider!

  • At 8/30/2013 5:31 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Would you like chips, fries, wedges or a pot of lard with your order, Sir?

  • At 8/30/2013 7:33 pm, Blogger Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said…

    The steak looks great! I'd hate for it to be overcooked so good thing it wasn't :)

  • At 8/31/2013 2:45 am, Anonymous Daisy@Nevertoosweet said…

    Ohhh everything looks great and very reasonably priced too :) Is it just me or does that Chicken snitchzel shaped like Australia without Tassie :P

  • At 9/01/2013 5:58 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    You had me sold at "Pimms cocktail jug" - it's such an underrated alcohol that I simply just love!

  • At 9/01/2013 7:23 pm, Anonymous Flick@ Flick Your Food said…

    The chicken curry looks good, but i think i would struggle to put it together cleanly

  • At 9/01/2013 9:20 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    that looks such a fine place to check out! everything looks really good and so do those chips. actually if i went, i think i would take the container as a souvenir for myself. heh heh heh

  • At 9/05/2013 9:45 pm, Blogger Jenny said…

    Those chip baskets are so cute! Looks like it came straight out from the fryer.

  • At 9/06/2013 12:19 am, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    Why do I love those mini chip baskets so much....


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