Whether or not this was a conscious marketing decision, putting a bit of London’s Covent Garden smack dab in the middle of Sydney’s Chinatown, at the bottom of Dixon Street, seems a good move, and the fellow behind me in the line at the bar seemed really quite pleased to be in a pub called Covent Garden.
I’ve walked by here many a time, but have never quite been drawn in. But… waiting for a table at Ho Jiak (highly recommended Malaysian food), it was a good option. We scored a table outside, from which we saw a punch up between builders who seemed to have been drinking all afternoon and the bouncers, and drank a bottle of Rolling Pinot Grigio for $28. I mean: hurrah. That is a good ten or twenty cheaper than in Surry Hills. And I’ve always liked the Rolling brand and it’s jaunty label with a bicycle on it.
In any case, not only are the drinks cheap here, but the karaoke is awesome. This feels like the place where locals have been practising up and do their greatest song, cheered on my a supportive audience. The songs are daggy classics, such as the one depicted above: Love Hurts (“I know it isn’t true… love is just a lie”). But in this case, love was not hurtful at all, it was in fact, all around, as we discovered for our SECOND bottle of Rolling, after dinner and a rather strange Chinese New Year/Mardi Gras event at the Dynasty Karaoke club. While this isn’t quite a destination pub, if you’re at the night markets on Friday night, or in the neighbourhood for a meal, this ain’t a bad place to split a bottle of white wine with your mates.