Maroubra Bay Hotel
turf, by Joel Gibson - The Sydney Morning Herald (credit)
Wild East finally yields to the hip - but some things
don't change at Maroubra Bay Hotel.
182 MARINE PARADE, MAROUBRA, 8347 2422.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-midnight, Sat-Sun noon-midnight.
Highs: Location, location, location. And the steak.
Lows: Limited wine list.
Vibe: No nonsense, albeit plenty of stripes.
Crowd: Bondi without the models.
Drinks: Schooners from $4, wine $4.50-$7.
like the suburb behind it, the pub on this spot used
to be labyrinthine, half full and with an air of the
Wild East about it. Patrons wouldn't have batted an
eyelid had they walked out after a few schooners -
a few mineral waters, even - and seen a tumbleweed
Sydney property market, however, comes to all those
beachside suburbs that wait. The Seals club is intact,
the charcoal chicken shops and surf shops remain ...
but look across the road, to the north.
you'll see the signs of progress: a block of schmick
new apartments above the freshly tiled and renovated
Maroubra Bay Hotel, now half as labyrinthine but twice
as hip and owned by the Solotel Group - the crowd
that gave us Double Bay's Golden Sheaf Hotel and the
has earned its stripes and, to celebrate, the pub's
designer has laid them on thick. There are stripes
on the light shades inside, stripes in the carpet,
stripes on the roof, the walls and the cane couches.
we were in Paddington, there probably would be striped
shirts on the clientele, too; mercifully, Maroubra's
patrons still wear the surf brands and workwear they
always have worn, tucking into $6 steaks (Monday to
Thursday, lunch and dinner) and drinking schooners.
us, though, Maroubra's a night out, so we order a
couple of glasses of the house's Leftbank brand red
and soak them up with an $18 char-grilled scotch fillet
with potato gratin and red wine jus, plus the $12
chicken parmijana (sic) with grilled vegies, chips
steak comes with chips at first - "the chef's
obviously in $6 steak mode," notes the beefeater
- but then he arrives, apologetic, with the gratin.
cross-eyed from staring at all the stripes and struck
dumb that the word "jus" has made its way
to the Maroubra Bay, not to mention gratin, we're
now faced with the sight of two plates the size of
tractor wheels piled with food - and a gratin on the
side. These are some of the largest pub bistro meals
known to humankind.
the steak not so good, it might be hard work to get
through. The chicken pulls its weight, but the beef
is juicy, so tender you could cut it with a fish knife,
and smokey in flavour. The beefeater is so impressed
she eats the whole thing and I have to explain to
her that a beefeater's role is to taste, live or die,
and then hand it over to the king.
well. We'll come back in the summertime when the petition
on the bar calling for outdoor seating has done its
job and I'll eat a steak with a view of some real
waves. Meanwhile, I loll back in a comfy cane chair,
gawk at one of the stream of surfing videos piped
through the place and wonder how many other pubs in
Sydney amuse patrons by showing wave after giant Tahitian
wave in the main bar.
jukebox must have avoided the designer's touch: it's
still playing Paula Abdul, New Kids On The Block and
the Travelling Wilburys.