Review: Le Bistro at the Hotel Union, North Sydney

Neither K nor I are big drinkers – we’re certainly not the type to wile away the hours drinking in a bar or pub. For the past three months, I’ve even chosen to be a teetotaler with not a single drop of alcohol passing my lips. The difference it’s made to my skin and general health is incredible – I feel a lot better as a result of not drinking alcohol in any quantity.

Because of this, going to have a meal in a pub certainly isn’t something that we do very often – however, as Le Bistro at the Hotel Union was on my Good Food Under $30 List, I was ready to try something new! We went on a Monday night which just happens to be their weekly trivia night which meant that the pub was full of teams competing for a couple of jugs of free beer.

Daily steak special with fries and pepper sauce (around $10)
Daily steak special with fries and pepper sauce (around $10)

K ordered their daily special of a standard steak with accompanying fries and pepper sauce. It was one of those cheap meals under $10, and it was certainly one of those cases of getting what you paid for. Though K ordered the steak to be done medium, it was cooked more like a well done steak with pepper steak that wasn’t actually at all peppery.

Warm chicken salad with avocado, compressed watermelon, almond, feta, eschallot and mixed baby leaves, $22
Warm chicken salad with avocado, compressed watermelon, almond, feta, eschallot and mixed baby leaves, $22

In the interests of my diet, I ordered a warm chicken salad which was definitely not what I would have expected. The grilled chicken breast was decently flavoured though a bit dry, but the single strip of watermelon, the half of an avocado, and random sprinkling of baby leaves, almonds and eschallots…it simply was not a meal that made any sense whatsoever. The dish just didn’t work, and I was left intensely unsatisfied.

Sticky duck hot dog with apple coleslaw and cherry hoi sin sauce, $6
Sticky duck hot dog with apple coleslaw and cherry hoi sin sauce, $6

We also order one of their hot dogs to share – an Asian inspired hot dog with duck and hoi sin sauce. It’s now no longer on the menu but this was the highlight of the three dishes ordered. The duck in the hoi sin sauce was fantastic, and reminiscent of some of the great Peking duck pancakes that I’ve had in places like Eastwood and Chatswood. The apple slaw was an interesting touch that gave the hot dog a fresher mouth feel as well.

Overall, I rate Le Bistro at Hotel Union a 5 out of 10 – the main meals are nothing to write home about, and definitely not a better selection than what you would find at any other pub. It is a nice space, with a large beer garden, and a friendly convivial atmosphere in the pub itself. It’s perfect for a Sunday afternoon beer with friends…if you’re into that.

Le Bistro at the Union Hotel on Urbanspoon

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