By Andy Young

Merivale have officially moved in to Sydney’s inner west, with Queens Hotel in Enmore opening today.

L-R: Christopher Hogarth, Patrick Friesen and Eric Koh.

Merivale purchased the old Queen Victoria Hotel in early 2015, leaving the hotel empty while they focused on renovations at The Newport and The Paddington. With work on those venues complete (or in the case of The Newport, the first stage), a renovation of the hotel on Enmore Road became the hospitality giant’s latest focus.

The two-storey venue has two main focuses, with the design team of Justin and Bettina Hemmes, interior designer Amanda Talbot and architect Kelvin Ho, creating Queen Chow on the first floor, a restaurant with a Hong Kong street food leaning, and The Smelly Goat cocktail bar upstairs.

On the first floor, where Queen Chow presides, the décor includes a long timber bar with a zinc top, surrounded by bar tables and leather banquettes, dark-stained timbers and rubbed-back finishes, befoe opening onto a shady courtyard.

The Queen Chow kitchen is being managed by a triumvirate of Christopher Hogarth and Patrick Friesen of Papi Chulo, and Eric Koh, former dim sum master at Mr Wong. Hogarth and Friesen took a trip to Hong Kong to gain inspiration for the menu, and decided to base it off the dai pai dongs, the large licensed food stalls.

“The dai pai dongs are where everyday people go to eat – it’s not tricked up food, it’s just delicious. We love Asian food and we’ve tried to emulate and enhance our favourite dishes by using the best quality ingredients we can get our hands on,” stated Hogarth.

Dishes will include whole roast duck with plum sauce, and South Australian pippies with black bean, chilli and Tsingtao, and the deep-fried crab, which is likely to get chins wagging. A dim sum menu will also be available at Queen Chow, with Koh’s dumplings having already proved popular with late-night crowds at Mr Wong.

Upstairs at The Smelly Goat, the feel is more eclectic. Features of the cocktail bar include the hand-carved onyx bar top, fabric-lined walls, black timber panelling, silk sconces, taxidermy birds and native orchids, and will keep patrons fascinated throughout their visit.

With a 3am liquor licence, Queens Hotel will be open for trading for lunch, dinner and late-night trading seven days a week.

Check out a behind-the-scenes look at Queen Chow below.

The Shout Team

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