As part of the revamp of the Lord Wolseley Hotel’s food offering, the venue has snagged the services of chef John Javier (ex MASTER) for the next few months.

The inner-city Sydney pub was recently the site of Pub Life Kitchen, the burger joint offering from Jovan Kuric. However the offering shut down late last year as Kuric decided to focus on other ventures in Sydney’s west.

Looking to renew the food offering at the hotel, twins Ted and Danny Sullivan have engaged the services of their friend Javier on their new dining offering for the pub, House Diner. Javier is currently in between major projects, having most recently opened Happy Paradise in Hong Kong as executive chef. Before that venture, Javier headed up the critically acclaimed fine-dining restaurant MASTER, in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

With the chef expected to be in Sydney for the next few months, he has found a temporary home at the Lord Wolseley, serving up much simpler pub food that still has touches of his finesse and creativity. Dishes include pasta Bolognese (pictured below) made with lamb belly, tripe and mint; a Szechuan fried chicken burger; and a Bahamian oxtail stew with fried bananas.

“There’s no ego here. It’s just fun, tasty food. At MASTER and Happy Paradise we were always trying to do crazy things that probably shouldn’t work. Here we’re cooking food that you just want to eat every day,” stated Javier.

While pub food may be more casual than what Javier normally prepares, that does not mean the chef is slacking off in his prep.

“There’s no half measures here. We’re making all our own sauces, breaking down and aging all our fish, and using quality vegetables (no frozen peas and crinkle cut carrots). The last two restaurants I opened, we were very hard on ourselves to be authentic to the cuisine – whether through ingredient or technique. Designing a menu for a pub, the punters don’t really care as long as it tastes good and it’s priced accordingly. No one wants to pay over $30 for a steak at a pub. We’re just cooking food we want to eat and at an affordable price.”

Having such an acclaimed chef as Javier join the kitchen has brought new business to The Lord Wolesley, as Ted Sullivan attested to.

“We’re already seeing trade that we wouldn’t have got without him – and without any press. So I think his food is speaking for itself, and word of mouth is doing the rest. When we get some media that trend will definitely spike.”

While Javier is currently fielding major project offers, he expects to stick around at The Lord Wolseley until at least September, and may also act as a consultant for the pub afterwards.

Lord Wolseley pasta bolognese

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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