To the uninitiated, the thought of having a drink at a Chippendale local may conjure images of peeling walls, sticky carpet and a roughly hewn clientele. Who knows, perhaps sometime during the 100-year history of The Rose this may have been a valid scene but today it couldn’t be further from the truth. Located on a corner fronting Cleveland Street and a stones throw from The Seymour Centre and Sydney Uni, the crowd that swills about the pub is mainly of the schooner-sipping student-kind diluted with residents and workers that are out for a casual catch-up.
The very decent selection of beers, wines and cocktails can be had in the cosy front bar or for those that prefer the higher decibels there’s the split-level beer garden out the back complete with pool table, bench seating and music ranging from funky to rock. It’s like country pub meets inner city local meets someone that has a thing for their cherub statues.
A quick drop-by had us faced with typical pub grub and sifting through a choice of burgers, NZ Angus or a whopping 31 varieties of pizza . The open steak sandwich was just that; a relatively tender and thin piece of meat teetering on wild rocket, tomato and topped with caramelised onion. All of this on lightly toasted sourdough with a squirt of aioli and tumble of fries.
The grilled piri piri spatchcock sounds decent enough on the laminated menu but the zingy bite I was expecting came undelivered due to a very light touch on the spices. The punch of garlic, chilli and ginger was sadly a hopeful thought in my mind rather than a sensation on my tongue. That said, the meat on the little bird was as tender as hell and every meagre bone was stripped bare.
In a pub like this you can’t get too worked up about the calibre of food as the majority seems to be here for the social aspect that involves pool, schooners and post-uni wind-down.