Following on from the nearby Dry Dock
, we made our way up the hill to the Royal Oak. Now, I have to make one thing clear. This isn't going to be a great review, but it can't be helped. Here at SydneyPubGuide, we're not big fans of Pokie Machines, especially when they're, as they are here, taking up a large amount of premium, near-the-bar space, with a flimsy curtain surrounding them in a half-hearted attempt to brush them under the carpet.
The Royal Oak is, I'm afraid, ruined by the Pokies packing out the front bar, but we can see how good it could be if they were removed altogether or just shifted elsewhere in the pub. The feature brick wall here looks great, especially with the fireplace, except for the fact it's over half-covered with Pokies. A couple of low sofas and tables around the fireplace in an informal arrangement really would be excellent. Just get rid of the flashing horrors first.
OK, rant over, what about the rest of the place? Well, an odd mixture, from what we saw in our short visit. The bar itself wouldn't look out of place in a CBD yuppie bar, but the tables, seating and general decor of the main bar is more a traditional pub scene. Out back is the restaurant, which appears to be a major focus here, and the clientele seemed mostly to be late thirties, early forties locals, witht he odd family group, though this being Anzac Day, this may well not be the normal crowd. We lamented the pokies once more, then headed off to the Exchange
review by: Jason