Four in Hand is one of those places that has been in our special occasion bucket list forever. We had a family milestone to celebrate and big expectations to meet. We ate at the dining room, which is fancier than the pub and has the highest server-to-customer ratio that I’ve seen in a while. Service was top notch, I really enjoyed the dining experience there. They not only were helpful and totally honest with their suggestions but also didn’t seem annoyed by the photo shooting nor a last minute change (more on that later). Speaking about photos, apologies for the blurry photos; it was dark and I’m shy.
Table butter and salt are served on a split bone shaft. Very cute (for me) way to relate to the chef’s nose-to-tail philosophy. We didn’t have any bread but the butter didn’t go to waste :)
Butter and salt
The meal kicked off with a complimentary smoked white fish and citrus soup with paprika that was excellent. It reminded me to make fish soup more often.
Smoked white fish and citrus soup
Four in Hand is known for its whole suckling pig for groups of 10 or more. The bad news? We were only three. The good news? They had whole pork shoulder as a special that night, so that’s what we ordered. The pig is slow-cooked and its skin is perfectly crispy. It comes with braised rainbow chard, red wine jus, celeriac salad (thinly sliced celeriac with creamy mayo-based dressing and sultanas), and colcannon (Irish potato mash with kale). As the waiter carved the pig and served us equally-sized portions we were silently and simultaneously grateful to have someone else do it for us.
Pork shoulder ($89)
I loved every single bite of the meal. If I had to complain about something it would be the ratio of meat vs. sides (too much meat or too little sides).
My sister and I enjoyed glasses of a great shiraz-malbec ($13) that went surprisingly well with the pork.
We were stuffed but Alvaro wanted dessert. He first ordered the sweet potato and goats cheese sorbet but upon double checking with another waiter we found out the sweet potato came as a (not gluten-free) cake. He then chose the chocolate and strawberry, quenelles of chocolate ice cream (or parfait?) with berries and mint, which Gladys and I got to try even though we said we were stuffed. Great dessert.
Chocolate and strawberry ($16)
Four in Hand
105 Sutherland Street
Paddington NSW 2021
(02) 9362 1999