Bite-sized Summary: Situated atop one of Sydney’s oldest pubs The Orient Hotel, Mrs Jones Bar is a stunning, open-air terrace perfect for after work drinks or long weekend lunches. With a focus on fresh, Australian produce, and a superb cocktail and wine selection to match; come for the drinks and definitely stay for the food.
Located a stone’s throw from picturesque Sydney harbour, Mrs Jones Bar and The Orient Hotel remains a richly historic memento of a bygone era, where locals, sailors and expats alike rubbed shoulders in The Rocks’ liveliest pub. Here, the team at Ryan’s Hotel Group have created an urban sanctuary, which overlooks the cobblestones and sandstone courtyard off Kendall Lane, much like it’s namesake, licensee and occupant Jane Jones might have back in 1897.
Image via Papaya PR
The bar, lounge and dining area spills out into an open-air terrace, which features large, sliding glass walls, creating a beautiful, sun-drenched haven above the hustle and bustle on the street. Courtesy of designer Kate Formosa, the interior of Mrs Jones cleverly blends pieces inspired by the buildings maritime past with a distinctly fresh and modern feel. Vintage woven chairs, nautical stripes and lush ferns create a secret greenhouse in the heart of Sydney’s oldest suburb.
Image via Papaya PR
On a particularly warm Sunday afternoon in May, I visited Mrs Jones for a VIP luncheon to celebrate the launch of this secret cocktail terrace. Upon arriving we enjoyed a drink in the sun, soaking up the buzzing atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings.
To kick off the event, former Cafe Sydney and Merivale mixologist Tommy Donnison pours limited edition, gold Moët Imperial champagne over a magnificent tower of sparkling glasses; a stunning feature available for the duration of Vivid Festival (25 May – 16 June).
Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne Tower
For lunch, we migrated from the leafy terrace over to the large dining room, an equally beautiful space filled with natural light. Their menu, designed by Ryan’s Group Chef Brad Copeland (formerly Est., MG Garage, Bistrode, Pier Restaurant and The Republic) features a selection of platters and small plates alongside classic pub meals and modern Australian fare.
Please note: we were treated to a set menu with alternate dishes provided to each pair of diners. I have included prices alongside each menu item mentioned below for reference, however, I cannot be sure that portion sizes we received are consistent with those of a paying diner.
To start, a fresh and summery bruschetta of mixed baby tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil and balsamic on sourdough ($14). A classic combination featuring gorgeous, bright local produce bursting with natural flavour. This was a favourite among many diners that I spoke to, and a fabulous start to the meal.
Warm Grilled Kangaroo Salad
Singing true to Mrs Jones’ commitment to using premium, local produce, was the inclusion of such a distinctly Australian ingredient on the salads menu – kangaroo! It was something that I had never tried before, and have heard that it’s an extremely lean meat so can be dry and tough if overcooked.
Consisting of warm grilled kangaroo with melody tomatoes, rocket, beetroot, parsley, hazelnuts, and feta ($19), this was a stunning salad and a wonderful introduction to kangaroo! The meat itself was juicy, tender and perfectly seasoned; and when eaten together with the sweet, earthy beetroot and tangy feta, was an absolute winner.
Crispy Pork Belly
For our first main; crispy pork belly with apple sauce, roast beetroots, fried potato and roasting juices ($29). The pork itself was succulent and tender, with a perfect, crispy and golden crackling that I could not fault. My only criticism, however, is that the dish felt like it was lacking sauce. The roasting juices drizzled over the roasted vegetables was nicely seasoned but I wasn’t too sure if there was any apple sauce at all on my plate.
Pan Fried Barramundi
Up next, one of my favourite dishes of the day; pan-fried barramundi with kipfler potatoes, broad beans, herb salad, parsley & lemon butter ($29). Perfectly cooked and seasoned barramundi with crispy skin and a divine lemon butter, which melted over the fish creating a velvety sauce.
To finish, a creamy, buttery South Cape brie (Tasmania) served with quince paste, lavosh and juicy grapes ($16). A classic combination, perfect for those not keen on sweet desserts.
Dark Chocolate Brownie
The grand finale – a rich, decadent dark chocolate brownie served with double cream and honeycomb ($12). For all you chocolate lovers out there, this one’s worth the visit to Mrs Jones alone! Featuring a crisp outer crust dusted with cocoa powder, one touch of the spoon revealed a gorgeous, warm, fudgy centre, which paired excellently with a generous sprinkle of golden honeycomb. Personally, I felt that the double cream was too dense and didn’t contribute much to balancing out the richness of the brownie (not that I minded at all!) Although I would have preferred a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, the delicate ball of double cream did look beautiful and was a stunning end to our meal.
Image via Papaya PR
Rich in historical significance and given a new lease of life, the terrace above The Orient Hotel is the newest hidden gem to emerge in The Rocks. Featuring a paddock to plate theme across both the food and drinks menu, Mrs Jones is truly a celebration of Australian culture and it’s diversity. Take cocktail signatures such as the ‘Native Espresso Martini’, with vodka from local distillery Archie Rose and Mr Black cold-pressed coffee liqueur from the Blue Mountains, alongside international classics like the ‘Passionfruit Caipiroska’ and ‘Tommy’s Margarita‘. On the food menu, Asian steamed prawn dumplings with ponzu dipping sauce, and Peking duck spring rolls shine beside smoked salmon tagliatelle, an American cheeseburger and sophisticated Australian pub classics like herb crumbed chicken schnitzel and a hearty Sunday Roast.
Come for a drink in Sydney’s (newest) best-kept secret; a beautiful, glass terrace perched above the cobblestoned laneways of The Rocks, and definitely stay for the
A big thank you to Mrs Jones and Papaya PR for the invitation! Eats with Marie dined as a guest of Mrs Jones. All opinions, comments are 100% honest and my own. All photos are my own unless stated otherwise (via PapayaPR)
1 Kendall Ln, The Rocks NSW 2000
(02) 9251 1255
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