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Copyright Melway Publishing 2003.
Reproduced from Sydway Edition 9 with permission.
You can find individual streets by using
Having been fortunate enough to have traveled throughout Australia and much of the world in both work and hedonistic roles, I still find the Harlequin Inn (H.I) one of those rare pubs that are well worth returning to time and time again.
The H.I offers a large choice of domestic, boutique and imported beers in both draught and bottle. A fine selection of wines are available and management assures me that if you would like to see something else on the list they will endeavor to make it happen for you. Spirit drinkers are well served and the increasingly popular Bundy Draught is a big seller.
The layout and design of the H.I contributes much to the overall appeal. The owners have resisted the urge to overhaul the place to much but have done enough to make it a pleasure to drink in rather than a novelty. A central bar down stairs serves from three sides with bottle shop sales to the rear. A combination of low and high style seating is available with a couple of lounges for the more low key or inebriated types. Two projection screens are set up at either end of the pub for sports coverage. A huge collection of Union memorabilia is displayed throughout including a bigger than average novelty ball. Note: If you are after a casual drink whilst the H.I is televising a Rugby match, look somewhere else. It’s shoulder to shoulder but a hell of a good night. The H.I makes the claim of being Australia’s favorite / best rugby pub. I won’t disagree. The in-house food is Thai / Australian. Excellent quality and really good value. The cooking staff are friendly and fun and do a really good job.
The clientele of any pub contribute as much to its quality as the beer. A large cross section of people frequent the H.I ranging from well the dressed ladies from the Channel Ten studios, construction workers on lunch breaks, lad’s coming back from a days fishing and pretty much anyone else you could imagine. It’s a lively but friendly crowd and you will always find a local (or Irish backpacker) too have a yarn to if your in the mood. The staff are great and will treat a respectable patron with respect. Give yourself a few sessions at the pub and you will be chatting like old friends and have your drinks poured for you by the time you reach the bar.
The Harlequin Inn is one of the best pubs in Sydney. Its unassuming nature, good value and excellent staff all make it a great place to hit the tiles and have a great session with friends.
review by: Fitzy
I popped into the Harlquin over the weekend, mostly for a takeaway six-pack, but also partly to see how the renovations are coming on. Well, let me tell you I was in for a surprise.
The former Front Bar, with its TV screen, pool table and jukebox along with the Bottle Shop area, has been transformed into a low-lighted, carpeted pokie lounge, relegating the space which WAS the former front bar into the cramped former pokie area.
Now, I've got a thing or two to say about this. First and foremost, as regular readers already know, here at SydneyPubGuide.net we regard the flashing horror of the poker machine as possibly the most evil affliction Sydney pubs suffer from. Secondly, you might also like to note the two following facts. One: The Harlequin claims to be Sydney's top Rugby pub; Two: The Rugby World Cup 2003 is a matter of weeks away, days even.
This is the part I find most incredible about this renovation. The Harlequin is about to experience a massive boost as Rugby fans dedicated and casual battle for a pub in which they can watch the games which they can't see in the flesh, and "Sydney's Top' Rugby Pub" has effectively shrunk the floor space which is usable for viewing the games.
Sure, the upstairs renovations continue and likely the total space will expand (I haven't had a chance to corner the management on this yet), however was this really necessary? We at Sydney Pub Guide say no, and as a result we'll be voting with our feet during the RWC and passing the Harlequin by. In fact, this is not an innefectual thing, because we'd already picked out the Harlequin as our chosen RWC pub, and were quite ready to push a few hundred bucks over the bar during the competition. Unfortunately for the Harlequin, we're now looking for an alternative venue.
review by: Jason
SydneyPubGuide are now Pyrmont locals, so our experience with pubs at this end of town has rocketed recently. The Harlequin is currently the standout pub for service, atmosphere and the excellent Thai Bistro at the back. Situated just on Union Square it's a well turned out little pub with a Rugby Obsession, so expect us to be here for much of the upcoming Rugby World Cup
A recent visit gave a chance to try out Jason's no. 3 rule of dining out, which is this :
Have the duck
(rules one and two being "don't eat where there are pictures of the food" and "Don't eat where the menu writer can't spell")
and I'll tell you, it was excellent. quick service, good food and Guinness, with the Tour De France on the screen and all was well with the world. It's a little more restrained here than at the other locals, so it's a good place to turn up with a book, and it's also a popular spot for trivia - last time round I arrived shortly after the quiz started and couldn't get a decent seat!
There's also streetside seating (of which we've partaken) and an upstairs bar (of which we haven't yet) so expect another review in the near future.
review by: Jason
I quite like the Harlequin - it's a neat little pub, well presented, and with a penchant for Rugby Union (the 'proper' code, if you ask me!).
First time I came here was some time ago with a chap from IBM global services round the corner. We met up with various friends from various businesses around the place and had a roaring night, resulting in me somehow wandering home to Surry Hills in who knows what state. Of course, for my review visit, things are more sedate.
It's saturday afternoon and it's pretty quiet here. A few locals are shooting pool in the front bar, a few young professionals are enjoying a glass or two of wine in the back bar, and not a lot else is happening (which I quite like actually).
This end of Harris Street is fairly quiet, so the streetside seating is worth a go, unless you too are a Union fan and would like to check out the extensive memorabilia lining the walls inside.
review by: Jason