The Rag Restaurant, North Sydney (13th September 2012)

With Karley (our business analyst from the Wellington office) in town this week, it was an opportunity for the North Sydney team to catch up so we headed over to the Rag & Famish Hotel for lunch. "Urgh, not Rag & Famish again," I would often say whenever the boys suggested heading over to the corner pub located a block away from the office on Miller St. The beer selection was alright and priced reasonably but almost every time I've been there for lunch, the food choices available weren't great - typical pub fare and snacks. Oh, and their Famous Famish Pies (and you know I don't like pies very much so totally not an option for me). The pub is a classic Australian heritage hotel and the oldest pub still trading today in North Sydney (established 1860) - the bar area is carpeted and often reeked of spilt beer, and areas not carpeted had a sticky surface (you can tell when you walk past). Not somewhere I see myself going to regularly but I would still tag along with the guys if I wasn't able to persuade them to go somewhere else - definitely not my favourite pub in the area. My view of the place however took a change on my last visit. I knew there was an upstairs area but everyone had thought it was just a function room. It turned out The Rag Restaurant was located on level 1 and we only knew of it when Marcus and Andrew convinced me to head over for our team lunch one day - we arrived late and the bar was closed for lunch but the staff told us to try the restaurant upstairs. What do you know, the Rag & Famish has a fancy a la carte dining area! And when we told the rest of our colleagues about it, they were curious about the restaurant which was how we ended up there for lunch today :)

Serving only lunch and dinner Mondays-Fridays, The Rag Restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine - unlike the bistro downstairs where you have to order your food and drinks AND collect it from the bar, here, you get table service. A popular lunch spot for groups from nearby offices, I would definitely recommend reserving a table if you have a large group like ours (there were 7 of us). We were quite a chatty bunch, and over drinks and food, everyone shared stories of what has been happening in our lives of late. 

We each ordered our own main and there were garlic and herb breads as well as sides of salad and Roasted Chats with Rosemary Salt for the table to share. On my earlier visit, I tried their Crispy Skin Ocean Trout with Prawn & Seafood Bisque which was lovely but a bit rich; this time, I went for one of the specials, the 250g Wagyu Sirloin with Red Wine Jus and Fries (cost $45). Hmm, the steak was rather disappointing - it was cooked medium rare but the meat seemed old or tough and the overall dish wasn't very tasty. Not worth the cost, that's for sure but fortunately lunch was on the company so can't really complain much. Perhaps I would try the Confit Duck Leg Cassoulet with Pork Belly & Chorizo next time - most of us who took a bite from Shankar's plate all agreed that it was really good.

Garlic bread ($10)

250g wagyu steak with red wine jus and fries ($45)

Team lunch at The Rag Restaurant (l-r): Karley, Andrew, Shankar, Vijay,
 James, me and Julie-Ann

The Rag & Famish Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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