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The Glenmore in the Rocks, Sydney

What an incredible building and restaurant situated in the Rocks.  The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney’s city centre.

The Glenmore Hotel was built by Brewers Tooth & Co in 1921 and has been an Aussie icon ever since. It is one of the last surviving pre- Harbour Bridge buildings on Cumberland Street, north of the Cahill Expressway. The site is known to have been occupied from the early years of 1800, although it is likely that, like the other ridges of The Rocks, it was occupied by the encampment of settlers in the first weeks of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788.
With its colonial old English charm and character, The Glenmore has been a popular watering hole, which has survived depressions, wars and plagues. This hidden gem in The Rocks was starting to show her age and in early 2012 it was closed for refurbishment for 9 months of loving restoration. The building itself is heritage listed for it’s traditional Rocks pub allure.
Immediately to the south of The Glenmore is the Argyle Bridge, built as part of the improvements undertaken by the Sydney Harbour Trust. Gloucester and Cumberland Streets were realigned and the two road bridges over the Argyle Cut replaced by a single bridge at Cumberland Street in 1911-12.
During the 1970’s several changes were approved by the SCRA. The bar was shortened with the stipulation that the front would be tiled to match the original. The Rooftop laundry, Cumberland Street balconies and the parapet were removed in 1975.

So we headed down there for lunch and led straight to the terrace, wow.  It was packed.  Alex sat us to our seats as you can see from the pictures below was exquisite.  Sitting right overlooking the Sydney Opera House to one side and slightly out of sight was the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the other.

Fish Cakes – $14.50 | BBQ corn salsa and tartare sauce

So we both shared this starter, and when it came out, it looked spectacular.  You had four fish cakes, on a bed of the BBQ sweetcorn salsa which was again on top of the tartare sauce.  By looking at the sauce closer, it appeared they had put some dill in (which goes perfectly with the fish).

Although the menu just says fish cakes, we tried to pinpoint what was inside.  But we could not, so, for now, we are telling you it was a collection of fish.

Salmon – $28.50 | Pan seared salmon, mixed quinoa, edamame, radish, heirloom cherry tomato, crispy lotus root chips and yuzu soy dressing

Well, I cannot say too much about this because I don’t like Salmon.  However, after consulting Tina, she said that the Salmon was perfectly cooked.  You can see from the pictures below.

Particular mention was made to the crispness of the skin.  So many times I have witnessed skin being soggy and unappetising.  Not here!

The salad that accompanied the salmon was like a picture.  Tina couldn’t quite get the dressing used but said that it was incredible and rounded off the dish nicely.

BBQ Beef Ribs – $23.00 | 1/2 rack of sticky BBQ ribs, fries and coleslaw

Well, this was my monster of a dish.  I had seen these BBQ beef ribs come out before we ordered, and they looked delicious.

Firstly, I have to say that although BBQ flavour.  There was a slight hint if spice, so anyone with a delicate palate may not want to have these.  However, the majority of us who are ok with that.  O.M.G. They were delicious, its the sort of ribs that fall apart just by looking at them.  You even try to pick them up and eat and 1) you will end up with quite a saucy mouth, and 2) it really wouldn’t have been the most elegant thing to do.

The chips were beautiful, and a somewhat healthy portion at that. The coleslaw itself was not your ordinary Australia coleslaw before we have very finely chopped vegetables in it.  This was very much like the coleslaw we get at home.  A lovely surprise that made my dish something I would back again for.

Chocolate Fondant – $12.50 | Chocolate fondant, vanilla bean ice cream, strawberry and peanut brittle

Oh, an excellent old choccy pud!

The Chocolate Fondant was one of only two desserts on the menu, so it was an easy one to make really.  We had loved the idea of a gooey chocolate centre, with the vanilla bean ice cream.

When it came out, we were not disappointed.  The only thing that puzzled me was the small leaves that appeared on top.  Very quickly they were brushed to one side, and then equally as quick.  Checked the inside, it was just as we like it.

What we liked were the strawberries cut up small enough, so you didn’t have to go using your spoon as a knife, just to get smaller bits to enjoy a bit of everything on one spoon.

Well at this point we were ready to be rolled off the terrace.  But we just had to soak in that view for just a few more minutes before heading back into the harbour for our next adventure.

So, would we come back here again? In a heartbeat.  Is it somewhere that is easy to find? Yes, but only if you head into the rocks district.

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Lee Webber
Lee Webber
Hola, i'm Lee and one half of the founders of Look at our World. You will quite often find me either behind the computer maintaining this stunning website, or sampling some incredible food.

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The Glenmore in the Rocks, SydneyWhat an incredible building and restaurant situated in the Rocks.  The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney's city centre. The Glenmore Hotel was built by Brewers Tooth & Co in 1921 and has been an Aussie icon ever since....