McSorley‘s Ale House has reopened on Staunton Street in SoHo with an unmissable eight-metre facade with Irish flags hanging down and the smell of curry wafting from the kitchen onto the street. Yes, curry, you didn‘t misread it. Curry, having been around in the UK for centuries, is extremely popular there, with Indian takeaway joints on every high street.
Walking in, the pub is just like the better pubs you would find in the UK, with wooden decor, wrought-iron railings and brown leather sofas. There are multiple televisions showing live sport, so there is always a TV to gaze at watch no matter where you are sat.
The samosas ($70), small fried pastries filled with minced lamb (there is a vegetarian option for $68), were crunchy, mildly spicy and piping hot.
Our attention shifted quickly to the curry chips ($78), triple-cooked fries served with an Indian masala gravy. The chips were by no means bad, but the masala gravy completely stole the show. The gravy, having a tomato base, achieved a lovely balance of sweet and sour. Even after the chips were cleared, we asked the server to let us keep the gravy for future dipping.
The main courses arrived next with the shepherd‘s pie ($178). Topped with mash and cheese, the pie was delectable. The lamb didn‘t have that strong gamy taste that puts off some people.
The tandoori chicken naanwich ($148) was quite popular at the table, with the onions on top giving it a sweet taste to balance out the rich tandoori flavours. There was cucumber yoghurt and mango chutney too, perfect dips for those who wanted something lighter and more refreshing. The naan, however, was quite difficult to cut and, thus, share.
The dips proved useful when the signature corned beef sandwich ($160) arrived, since we didn't find the naanwich very filling. Made with Guinness-caramelised onions, smoked bacon and raclette cheese, it was a hearty sandwich and we all enjoyed it, but the taste of the corned beef was shoved aside by the caramelised onions and smoked bacon. The caramelised onions were sweet and we liked how we could taste a bit of Guinness, but if there had been less of them, we could have enjoyed the the corned beef more. Although we still enjoyed this sarnie, what we expected to taste salty actually ended up being quite sweet.
We then tried the signature chicken tikka masala ($142) and naan bread ($25–28). The chicken combined the two most well-received items from the previous courses (the chicken tikka naanwich and the masala sauce from the curry chips). The tender chicken pieces and rich, creamy curry were a lovely match with the naan.
Besides the food, a good pub needs to have good drinks, and McSorley‘s certainly has that area covered. The extensive drink menu covers a wide variety of whisky, eight different craft beers from Europe and Oceania and, most interestingly, some cleverly named Irish cocktails such as the Nutty Irish and Dancing Leprechaun.
McSorley‘s is a pub with decent food and a wide variety of drink, good for watching live sport with your mates while sipping away on a pint of Guinness along with some tasty pub grub. If you‘re a fan of curry, McSorley‘s offers an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet every Tuesday from 6–10pm for $168.
Pub quiz nights: 8pm onwards every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month
Happy hour: 3–8pm (weekdays only)
46 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, 2385 5515
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author‘s.