It’s no secret that Surry Hills patrons are spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs, but for pub businesses this means stiff competition and a need for continual evolution.

For the Shakespeare Hotel and the Strawberry Hills Hotel, their kitchens are leading the way.

Chefs, Alex Gutierrez and Marco de Vecchi have recently joined the pubs. Bringing a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience, they’re beginning to reinvent their menus.

Alex Gutierrez left the Strawberry Hills Hotel in 2014 to travel and work overseas. Travelling through Germany, South America and the USA, he has built up a wealth of experience and has won several awards.

Alex was drawn back to the Strawberry Hills Hotel in January of this year, drawn back to the freedom of working at the pub. “It’s the freedom and the variety that you can do with the cuisine here. There’s no limit, you can create whatever you like. You can do good food and there’s no limitations,” says Alex.

Alex hopes to reinvent the Strawberry Hills menu to something that is a creative reflection of his South American heritage and travels. Alex says: “Now I’m basically putting up what I’ve learnt through my travels, doing traditional cuisines from a variety of different backgrounds, but giving everything my own little twist.”

At the Shakespeare Hotel, Marco de Vecchi has jumped headfirst into the vibrancy of the area and the new direction of the pub. Marco says: “They mentioned they wanted to do something different to every pub around here, so I jumped on board.”

For Marco, he wants to emphasise the beautiful simplicity of pub food, as well as introduce a more share friendly addition to the menu. Hoping to emphasise the importance of antipasto share plates and introduce fine meats to customers as they chat with friends over fine food.

Although both chefs have only been working for a short time, it’s been a warmly welcomed arrival. As Alex puts it: “Now I’m seeing the changes. People are actually coming to the Strawberry Hills to eat. Or they see the food that’s coming out to other customers and they think ‘Oh, let’s order something.’”

Surry Hills pub food revival is underway.

You can use your Dine and Discover Vouchers at both of these Surry Hills venues.

Strawberry Hills Hotel
453 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills

The Shakespeare Hotel
200 Devonshire St, Surry Hills