Shine on you good old thing

Anyone around these parts will tell you their local is the best. And when it comes to this little village on the peninsula, there are more pubs in Balmain than babes in Bondi. In my case however, as always I’m right,  I’m telling the truth, my local really is the best. And not just in my eyes.  It’s regarded by the Sydney foodie glitterati as gastronomic pub grub heaven. Talking of course, about The Riverview Hotel on Birchgrove Road, a watering hole that has played a starring role in my life this year.

If music be the food of love, play on.

Mossy’s mum and dad both grew up around here and his Nanna knew the great Dawny Fraser herself, ex owner of The Riv as its known, before its makeover. Back when it was just a dirty corner pub with grimy windows. The beauty of this place is in its character that’s been kept, if only buffed and polished a little. There are window boxes in bloom, a smart grey exterior with a quaint red wooden door that smiles in welcome and staff that make you always feel like you are. Even when its fifteen minutes before opening time and you are a party of twenty. Always.

If all the world’s a stage, then this is the kind of set the big guy would’ve used to lay a bountiful web of words over a paddle of craft beer. Just make sure its Vale Ale please. Its softly shining restaurant looks out over romantic balcony windows onto the lamp lit street below, the circular bar acts as a theatre in-the-round where the punters jostle for a view of the players and in the midst of the action, the leading lady, that huge jar of olives.

Lady Moss would be happy to wash those meaty morsels down with a glass of Farr Rising Pinot everyday for the rest of her life, except when really hungry when we simply must refer to the tapas menu. Tapas, meze, antipasto they’re all the same to moi, little plates of yummy scrummy goodness. The menu changes fairly regularly downstairs in The Riv bar, certainly often enough to keep Lady Moss interested. Lady Leighton Clark and I sampled the chilli prawn popcorn – oh my, the wagu beef meatballs – oh Lordy, the empanadas with salsa – oh yes baby yes! and topped it off with the pulled pork schnitzel with chilli jam – oh God oh God oh God! And please tell me where you can find food that good for $25 for three generous plates in Sydney? I’m sorry what? Ok give us another lot if you must.

Countless hours have been spent at this favourite corner store of mine, plenty of “I’ve always loved youze”, a few tears and many many glasses of good wine shared with new and dear old soulmates. I guess what I’m trying to say in a round-about manner is, please go. Go now. But keep the noise down when you leave, us locals need our beauty sleep.



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.