Once the hunting ground of punters after a $5 steak, now The Forresters is the latest offering from Jaime Wirth. He’s the man behind the makeover montages for The Carrington, The Norfolk, The Abercrombie and The Flinders (Duke Bistro), and he knows how to extract fun and new life from fossilised, forgotten pubs.
Now The Forresters has been redesigned, with an Italian-American menu, a look inspired by a Sinatra casino and the very opposite of a $5 steak: Pay Day Pizza ($50), which offers your wages’ worth of lobster, truffle and truffle salami. The rest of the menu is a lot more pocket-friendly, with a no-frills Spaghetti with Red Sauce ($7), awesomely trashy Crumbed Cauliflower ($8) with aioli and surprisingly untrashy Mac N Cheese ($18), made classy with blue cheese and a gritty topping of fried bread crumbs. It’s a lot of fun. And to lighten the guilt about all the carbs, fat, and frypan overuse, there’s a bracing Pea ($17) salad, all lemony and light with mint and snappy green beans and the right salt-punch of fetta. Will particularly enjoyed his Lamb Rotisserie ($25) with Italian slaw and taters and, if we hadn’t maxed ourselves out entirely on this food, we would have also had the Tiramisu Knickerbocker Glory ($12) and Lemon Tart Thickshake ($7). But there’s an easy way to troubleshoot that problem – more visits. It’s not a place that takes itself too seriously (it’s bound to bait people who get mad about pineapple on a pizza, for instance), but that playfulness is entirely the point.
The Forresters, Corner of Foveaux and Riley Streets, Surry Hills NSW (02) 9212 3035, www.forresters.com.au.