I love so many pubs in The Rocks for their old rough-as-guts charm that I’m not sure what to make of Harts Pub, which is styled and furnished almost as if it were a hip English gastro pub.
Part of me likes it. For example, I absolutely love their beer selection and their dedication to providing boutique (or craft) beer. They’re home to the Rocks Brewing Co plus they also serve beers from the likes of White Rabbit, 4 Pines and Longboard Beer, which is great to see – I wish more pubs supported independent brewers. I also like the multitude of rooms with sofas in them, which almost makes this feel more like a gigantic alcoholic’s house than a pub.
And on the other hand … well, it’s almost too swish, too pristine for a pub. Perhaps I’m white trash, but I like a little dinginess with my brews.
I’ve come here a few times before but, after taking the Amazonian on a Rocks bar crawl I find myself here with her on a Friday night.
We both order the Banana Beer (made by the Hunter Beer Company) because we’ve drunk enough in the evening to think that quirky is good. Instead, we find it … well, quirky, in that it actually does have banana and bubblegum flavours. However, I personally like my beer to taste strong, hard and bitter (I have similar tastes in women) although I acknowledge this is actually a good beer – just not to my taste.
The Cajun Croc strips are to my taste, however, even though I know they’re mainly on the menu to appease the tourist crowd. As the name suggests, they’re crocodile strips covered in Cajun spices and are fried and – even though, yet again, I only ordered this because I’m in a cavalier mood – they turn out to be surprisingly succulent and full of flavour – and I like the spicy remoulade served with them.
In fact, Harts has ticks in many of the right places … and yet, to be honest, I feel there’s something missing when it comes to atmosphere. Perhaps it’s something small, such as the lighting – it always seems a little too bright in here – or that it just feels too studied, right down to the beer quotes on the wall – but maybe I’m being picky. Then again, that is my job. Regardless, if you’re passing by then I still recommend popping into Harts for a boutique brew and some croc strips.
Harts Pub. Corner of Essex and Gloucester Streets, The Rocks. See the Harts Pub website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Harts Pub?