The Unicorn is a pub in Paddington known for its food. It's not fancy gastropub food but all the classics that you'd find at an Aussie pub, just done well, courtesy of the people behind the team from Mary's, Young Henry's and Porteno.
This was actually my second attempt at eating at The Unicorn. The first time was a few weeks earlier with Nina, her mother, Garth and Mr NQN. Nina and her mum are vegetarians and took one look at the menu and decided that they didn't want to split a pumpkin salad so we had to go somewhere else.
I returned with former food writer Girl Next Door and current food writer Tristan. It's quieter this time as it's a Wednesday night. Tristan tells us that every time he comes here, which is often, something magical happens. He has met sporting and tv celebs and he also won a meat tray. For tonight, happy hour from 4-6pm suffices for the something magical. It's beer for Girl Next Door and Tristan and white wine for me.
A friend who is a regular has recommended a few things so we order those and the food comes to our table. I'll start with my favourite item, the steak. The menu has a "fancy steak" (200g Rangers Valley wagyu onglet $45) or a "daily steak" (220g Rangers valley spider or oyster steak $30) and we decided on the daily steak with garlic butter.
With both steaks you also get a choice of two sides and we order the mashed potato and cauliflower cheese. The steak is covered in delectable garlic butter sauce (there is a choice of sauces) and the steak itself comes pre-cut (I looove pre-cut steak!) and is tender and served pink inside so that it is juicy and melts in the mouth. The mash is smooth as silk and the cauliflower cheese is good but out of the two I prefer the mash.
Pork cracklings are a pub staple but here the voluminous curled over pieces are dusted in paprika and served on a creamy oyster emulsion.
Next is the schnitzel. As Tristan is a regular he tells us that the sauce is controversial. The chicken itself starts with a chicken supreme (breast with wing attached) brined for 12 hours and then crumbed in panko and deep fried. We are torn though over the gravy. It's almost burnt tasting and isn't just a once off, Tristan tells us it is always like that, "It tastes like the bottom of a pan," he says. He loves it but Girl Next Door and I are not as enamoured of the sauce. But the schnitzel itself is juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
Fans of Mary's burgers can get the burgers here but there is also a bonus burger only available here. It's the Aussie works burger with bacon, pineapple and beetroot added to it with either a single or double patty. I love the addition of the beetroot, pineapple and bacon, especially the crispy bacon rashers. And the fries are wonderful dipped into the garlic butter sauce (just saying). The sauces you can add are their house made hot sauce, regular bbq sauce and tomato sauce.
There are two desserts but Girl Next Door and Tristan are full although I was more than willing to make space for something sweet.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like your steak pre cut or do you like to cut it yourself? Which sauce do you like with your steak? How often do you eat at pubs?
This meal was independently paid for.
106 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021
Monday & Tuesday 4pm–1am
Thursday to Saturday 11am–3am
Phone: (02) 9360 3554