With St Patrick’s Day coming up next week, Balmain icon, Cat and Fiddle caught our eye. While it was previously best known as a live music venue, there’s so much Irishness going on there nowadays, you’d be silly not to swing by during their unofficial St Patrick’s long weekend celebrations. You see, two Irish families recently purchased and completely renovated the space, adding a gorgeous indoor beer garden, and Irish born chef, Padraic Kielty (former owner/chef of the Mad Spud in Surry Hills).

Beer garden at Cat and Fiiddle

“I love all the fun and colour that goes with St Patrick’s Day,” said Padraic. “But this year I want to deliver to the locals a taste of what Ireland is like through our food. The day can be more than just Guinness, green beer and Shamrocks, it is a chance to explore the culinary delights of our great country too. Although, green beer is still very welcome!”

The Irish menu will take over the current menu from Saturday 15th March, through to Monday 17th March.

In the name of research, we sampled the menu to give you a peek of what to look forward to. Plus, thanks to the Cat and Fiddle’s generosity, we also have three prize packs (valued at up to $150 each) up for grabs! Keep scrolling down to enter.

Crispy Irish seaweed - Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

We start with a surprise from the kitchen – Irish seaweed! With similar addictive qualities to Korean roasted seaweed snacks and baked kale chips, these are intensely crispy with deep flavours of the sea.

Crispy spud skins, red Leicester, 100yr old brown sauce recipe- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

There’s also crispy spud skins ($10), red Leicester cheese and a 100 year old brown sauce recipe, and Irish boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake, served with pickled eggs, black pudding, whiskey and pear. Despite both dishes sounding quite heavy, they’re actually exquisitely modernised and the hearty notes only linger around enough to lead you into the main course.

Irish boxty, pickled eggs, black pudding, whiskey and pear

There are 8 main courses to choose from. One definitely worth trying is the Dublin coddle ($24). This is a classic winter stew that relies on the comforting flavours of sausage and potato. As you can see, it’s absolutely gorgeous and looks more like a tart, but the sauce combines all the elements well.

Dublin coddle, black pudding, salt and pepper spud- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

Dublin coddle- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

The crispy potato cakes ($24) are equally good  – there’s the lightness of the salad greens, the creamy roundness of the cashel blue cheese, the tang of the apple gel, and the wholesomeness of the oatmeal crusted potato cakes. Chef Padraic Kielty certainly knows how to work his magic on the potatoes!

Crispy potato cakes, cashel blue salad, oatmeal and apple- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

For those seeking to consume the mandatory St Pat’s Day green foods, look no further than the crispy salmon ($24) with nettle crust, roast fennel, green peas and green herbs. This salmon is probably the most delicious way you’ll be able to partake in the green cliche.

Crispy salmon, nettle crust, green mayo and green herbs- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

On the side, we have a mini version of the hot chips (full serve, $10), because, well, why not! Apparently, hot chips with curry sauce are a popular late night snack in Ireland – as common as the late night kebab staple in Australia, says Monique, one of the owners of the Cat and Fiddle.

Mini chips with Irish curry sauce- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

Another first for me, is the Irish railway cake ($14), also known as the spotted dog or sweet Irish soda bread. This features plentiful raisins and is topped with clotted cream, butterscotch and candied fig.

Irish railway cake, clotted cream and butterscotch- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

We finish off with two of Ireland’s greatest exports – Guinness and Bailey’s! The chocolate Guinness cake with Bailey’s custard ($14) is one of those therapeutic desserts that I could just have copious amounts of.

Chocolate Guinness cake, Bailey's jelly- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

Indoor beer garden at the newly renovated Balmain icon, Cat and Fiddle Hotel

Live music- Cat and Fiddle Hotel, Balmain

Cat and Fiddle Hotel Balmain on Darling Street

Add all-day live Irish music and entertainment along with a pub filled with Irish craic and you won’t find a better place in Sydney this St Patrick’s Day!

Bookings for St Patrick’s Day Long Weekend breakfast, lunch or dinner are recommended.

How to enter

Here’s how you enter the competition. You will receive either one entry or five entries per task you complete, depending on the task. So if you tweet about the giveaway, you’ll get five entries. If you also answer the competition question, you’ll get a total of ten entries, etc. The more times you enter, the bigger your chance is at winning!

Three lucky winners will be drawn at random to win a 3 course meal for two, worth up to $150 each!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Competition Terms and Conditions

  • This giveaway is open to Australian residents only
  • You must use the Rafflecopter entry form above to enter the giveaway
  • To complete each task, you must first click on the +1 or +5 button. Follow the instructions for that task, then to record the entry, remember to hit the green Enter button on the bottom right! You must do this, otherwise your task won’t register as a competition entry.
  • Three lucky readers will be chosen at random; they will each win a prize pack worth up to $150 each. Each prize pack will consist of a 3 course meal (starter, main and dessert) for two people, with a bottle wine selected by the Cat and Fiddle
  • The prize is valid for 3 months, and is not valid on St Patrick’s Day, Monday 17th March. To sample the St Patrick’s Day Long Weekend menu on Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th, bookings are essential.


Cat and Fiddle
456 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW
Phone: (02) 9810 7931
Web: www.catandfiddle.com.au

Cat & Fiddle Hotel on Urbanspoon

I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Cat and Fiddle


  1. black pudding, potatotes, potatoes, more potatoes. and guiness. who ever said irish food was boring? and the curry sauce is the cherry on top!


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