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Copyright Melway Publishing 2003.
Reproduced from Sydway Edition 9 with permission.
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I've been a James Squire beer fan since I returned to Australia from USA. I was delighted to see the Microbrew industry taking hold here, so I could get a tasty ale rather than just a light lager.
When I saw that James Squire had a restaurant in Darling Harbour, my wife and I took the opportunity to lunch here before heading off to an exhibition. We were bitterly dissapointed.
We got our beers and beer tasters quickly. They were great. It took them around 10 minutes for our food order to be taken. A pie with mash, a steak sandwich and a cheese bread. 45-50 minutes later we got our pie and steak sandwich, they were stone cold. The bread was never brought out. They did, however, try to charge us for the bread.
The prices were fairly outrageous, though not surprising being in the Darling Harbour area. It's in a nice spot on the water at King's Wharf. $15 for a pie & mash; I should have got a cab to Woolloomooloo and got one from Harry's Cafe de Wheels, it still would have been cheaper, faster & served hot.
I'm embarrassed that tourists may visit this place, or for that matter beer enthusiasts. I never thought I'd say this but I get much better food, service and value from restaurants here in old Newcastle, the opposite of what I'd have expected just 10 years ago.
I'll keep drinking their beers, I'll never eat there again.
review by: rockfox
I'm currently sitting at the back of the James Squire Brewhouse with my laptop, enjoying my Sunday arvo over a quiet couple of quality beers and a fast internet connection.
We've long been fans of James Squire brews here at Sydney Pub Guide, so we were especially happy at the opening of the James Squire Brewhouse, just a short walk from Castle Pubguide, in Darling Harbour. Not only is there the full Squire range on tap, but they're also brewing boutique, small-batch ales in-house. Check the gallery for a shot of the brewery gear which lurks behind glass in the front part of the bar, not unlike the Lord Nelson
In fact, it's inevitable that parallels will be drawn with Sydney's pre-eminent brewery pub. Like the Nelson, the food here is a high-priority item, as are the quality ales turned out in small batches from the in-house brewery. However you get the feeling that there's more corporate muscle behind the Squire Brewhouse and as such I can't help 'rooting for the underdog' and proclaiming the Nelson to win out on character. On sheer size and accessibility though, The James Squire Brewhouse is clear winner. It's very large indeed, with a great variety of seating from leather couches to booths to restaurant tables to bench tables and stools. In fact, the only thing that's missing, to my mind, is wireless internet access (which they could add for a paltry couple of hundred bucks, thereby tipping the scales and winning me as a confirmed regular). Failing that, longer network cables would be good!
As for the place itself, the decor is as you'd expect, lots of wood, going for the traditionalist look, plenty of quotes about beer and beer lore and James Squire the character scattered around. Decent sized bar for the size of the pub, most of the stuff you'd want from a restaurant/bar in fact.
A quality establishment every beer lover should vist.
review by: Jason