Croydon Lane Wine and Tapas Bar
8/30 The Kingsway
Cronulla, Sydney

Tucked away in Cronulla you will find Croydon Lane and when you see it - it is like another world. An oasis. Hanging baskets with plants adorn a wall exuding an "earthy effect". There are cute comfortable chairs for those that want to be a little intimate.

Croydon Lane is an upmarket city bar in Cronulla and it has personality. It is deceivingly big inside and they seat 80. You can also eat at the bar - very European. They serve top quality food and drinks and their audience leans towards the late 30's and up - and whoever loves a wine - isn't that just about everyone! The ambiance is very social and they cater to private functions as well as degustation nights and whiskey and tequila nights plus they are licensed to midnight. The creative and sophisticated décor was done well by owner Johnny Rechichi's wife Cindy.

There is also some quirkiness to Croydon Lane. If you order a top shelf wine and once you have finished it - you can sign the bottle and the bottle gets added to the "walk of fame".

Sir started his meal with a cocktail - The Empress - what a man! Being a huge fan of rum - this was a good choice. This consisted of Brinley Gold "Shipwreck" spiced run, Chambord, crème de cassis and fresh lime.

Mlady chose the Lychee fantasy. This had Kettle 1 vodka, lychee liquor and lychee juice, fresh lime and hibiscus syrup. This sounds sweet and it was but it was not overly sweet which is how Mlady likes her cocktails. The Lychee fantasy had nice equal flavours and was very refreshing Loved the juicy lychee on top!

The Bruschetta wrapped scallops came nestled on a corn puree and confit piquillo.

The scallops were big, plump and juicy and had great flavours and textures.

We also really liked the vibrancy of the corn puree - and loved the crunchiness as well.

Next was the peri peri king prawns with pulled pork circles and slaw.

We both love a good peri peri and this was really good.

There was a good bite and it combined well with the pulled pork circles.

We love Haloumi and had it pan-fried with palmitis (palm hearts), tomato salsa and pickled lemon zest. This was an impressively flavoured dish. To combine all this on your fork - OMG! When it arrived it was visually appetising with the fresh colours of the tomato salsa and pickled lemon zest. You could taste everything and nothing was overpowering. An awesome Haloumi too!

Next we had the Wagyu slider - this came with cheddar, lettuce, tomato relish, aioli and was served in a bun and arrived on a bread board. This was a sumptuous wagyu! It was like your traditional burger that so many of us have grown up with. Thick juicy beef, Sir thoroughly enjoyed and devoured.

The Jamon wrapped chicken breasts came with salad of pomegranate, cucumber, red radish and freekeh. Pomegranate is so versatile and rich in colour and possess a great crunch. This was a delicate looking dish. The chicken was tender and moist and we fully enjoyed the blend of the fresh tastes and textures. A great sharing plate!

Sir also had a white wine - an Albarino - which he enjoyed and Mlady had a lovely Tempranillo.

Our final "main" selection was one we'd been eyeing off on the board - the pork belly.

It came slow roasted with blue lentils and sauteed baby spinach and caramelised shallots.

What a great dish with big flavours and all topped with chunks of explosive crackling. It was so good.

For dessert we had homemade ice-cream. We had the caramelised mango, marshmallow dark choc and caramelised salted popcorn. OMG - simply delish! These were truly heavenly flavoured ice-creams. Sir kindly let Mlady consume more - such a gentleman. We completed our mouth-watering meal with a Pedro Ximenez each. What can we say about this aromatic, smooth as silk, liquid gold nectar that we have not already said before. We always "Vote for Pedro"!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Croydon Lane. We would like to a say a big thank you to Johnny and Cindy for inviting us and to Johnny for explaining his inspirations. Also thank you to Jess and Pablo and to head chef Sanjeev.

Johnny Rechichi

Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Woolpack Hotel
229 Chalmers St
Redfern, Sydney

The Woolpack Hotel and Lounge in Redfern has been around for so long, you could almost call it a city landmark. But don’t let its solid history fool you into thinking it’s an everyday local pub. The Woolpack Hotel has not only revamped its interior, it has created a tantalising new Spanish Tapas menu.

Now, before we go on, let’s get a few things straight. The Woolpack is still a pub, so if craft beers and steak or schnitzels are your thing, then this place definitely has you covered. Their traditional pub menu is quite comprehensive and there are about eight rotating craft taps on offer, guaranteed to satisfy any thirst.

For us, any opportunity to try a new menu is exciting so tonight, we’re happy to ditch the pub grub and get our forks into some delicious Spanish Tapas, created by Barcelona trained, Head Chef, John Howard.

We arrived on a busy Friday night but found a table inside quite quickly. The Woolpack has a lovely outdoor area out the front, a large main area inside and a cosy, intimate room around the back which is perfect if you are after a somewhat quieter space. There was some live music happening too.

We started our Spanish journey with a jug of Sangria. True to its tradition it was not too sweet and full of flavour, First up, some Iberico Jamon, a specific type of ham which is basically a Spanish legend. Made from Iberico free range pork and cured according to a specific process, Iberico Jamon is a thin leg of ham, with a deep golden hue to its fat. It’s absolutely delicious and far superior to any ham we have tasted till now.

Some grilled Octopus followed. Huge chunks of Octopus cooked in paprika and vinegar and marinated with Olives.

It’s so easy to over cook Octopus on the grill but thankfully this wasn’t the case here.

The paprika added a real smokey taste to the dish.

Following on the seafood theme, we also tried some fish croquettes and let us tell you these were AMAZING.

Bite size pieces of fresh salty fish, deep fried and served with the most creamy aioli.

Just one word of advice folks, these are dangerously addictive.

You can’t have a Spanish tapas experience without some famous patatas bravas, and the ones here at the Woolpack hotel don’t fail to impress.

The potatoes were golden and crispy and smothered in that creamy sauce that’s so delicious.

We were scraping everything off the plate.

We decided to have a short break from the food whilst enjoying our beautiful wine. We had a deliciously crisp rose produced in Orange NSW, by a Portuguese wine maker. Portuguese and Orange - a great combination.

Our next dish was the char-grilled beef. Thick carvings of delicious Hereford beef cooked in a very tasty salsa. They say Hereford beef is one of the best types of beef, we can definitely attest to that. It was tender, perfectly cooked on the more rare side of medium and perfectly carved and presented.

A perfect accompaniment to the beef were green beans which were cooked in a beautiful garlic and butter base, and also a chickpea dish cooked with cauliflower, spinach and aged cheese. A very impressive choice and one we would highly recommend. We couldn’t get enough of it.

Our last (but not least) dish for the evening was the stuffed Zucchini Flowers. Evidently fresh, these succulent flowers were filled with ricotta and Manchego cheese and again served with an aioli, but this time a chilli one.

After all this amazing food, we definitely were ready for a siesta so we decided to call it a night. The Woolpack hotel in Redfern is the perfect choice for your next meal no matter what the occasion as it offers a great balance between high quality Spanish Tapas and a solid, traditional pub menu, all within a relaxed atmosphere with friendly, efficient service.


The Counts, who review for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, were guests of The Woolpack Hotel. Big thanks to Mel Fryer for the invitation.

Woolpack Hotel & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato