The Four In Hand

In hindsight going to a pub on a Saturday night purely to get a feed for this week’s blog post was probably quite stupid. I’ll take the blame for that.

Still, it was Saturday night, and the pub is a pretty common place for many of us to end up at. Am I right?

At last count there were… a shitload of pubs and bars worldwide. Heaps. And, a lot people who go to pubs. Also heaps.

So this post is relevant to pretty much everyone.

We went to The Four In Hand in Paddington, Sydney…

Nutrition – 7
Taste – 6
Service – 4
Ambience – 4
Extra mile- 3
Budget – Medium (High for a pub)

*Scores are out of 10

The Four in Hand: Overall rating – 24/50 on a low budget


Admittedly this was last minute, so I have to take the blame for the idea of “Let’s do a pub!” it seemed like a good suggestion, I mean, we haven’t done one yet, and it’s incredibly applicable and relevant for so many people.

It’s just that I missed that last part and what its ramifications were- the pub would be packed-it’s Saturday night- idiot.

Anyway, we managed to loiter on a table long enough that when out food turned up out fellow table friends had exited. Ideal.

I am very much of the opinion that you can eat at a pub and stay well within a healthy bracket, as well as staying off the beers. Not that I do this all the time- I definitely have a few beers and a more relaxed meal from time to time, mostly when I catch up with mates. However, this week was a bit of a combo of relaxed and keeping the reins close.

The Four In Hand is a classic Sydney pub which also serves great food. They have over the bar ordering section and a more pricey separate dining area where with enough hungry people you can order a whole pig. I don’t think I need to express for like for any place that offers this, but I will…

A whole pig on the menu makes it a winner already!

Whole pig

Pub menus can be very similar from place to place, with slight differences following the local flavour or chef’s biases, however, the four in hand does show a slightly larger shift from centre. It’s menu contains more offal than I’ve seen on a pub menu since living in country Scotland. Of course I’m a bit of a fan of offal these days, so we indulged, but only just, really… The Chicken Liver Parfait was absolutely beautiful, and as I don’t normally eat bread, having their grilled sourdough to cover in livery goodness was a bend from my more usual food bracket. Of course this amount of bread isn’t a ridiculously large issue or nutrition breaker, but it’s one of those things that can easily sneak in more and more unless purposefully watched and stopped.

Yes, I think bread should largely be avoided. I do so myself and recommend it for most people most of the time.

no bread

Outside of the bread, parfait and tasty little mini gherkins, I ordered the Braised Lamb Shoulder
with Pea, Feta & Fennel Salad
which falls well inside the realm of healthy eating and was downright delicious. I’ll let Nards talk about her Corned Beef with potato Salad, but I tasted some of the meat and it was awesome. I’ve not been a fan of corned beef since I was a kid, but this changed my mind instantly.

So, how was going to the pub, having some liver, and healthy lamb shoulder a step outside of my normal healthy eating bracket? Well, I also downed a beer and glass of red wine. Oh and the bread. It might not sound outrageous, but when you’re eating for nutrition, health and to maintain a healthy body composition, your more relaxed meals shouldn’t stray too far from your normal. Otherwise, that’s when the gains stop and the belt expands, among other issues.

belt struggling

Learning how to ‘cheat’ and fall off the wagon is a crucial element in losing body fat or remaining lean and ripped. Of course relaxing and having more chilled out meals than that is a part of life, as it very much is of mine, however, for the most part to stick to something means exactly that- sticking to something.

If you would like any more advice on how to fall off the wagon with control, or managing relaxed meals, then comment below and I’ll get your an answer as soon as I can.

The verdict- the four in hand was very crowded due to it being a Saturday night and the local rugby team were playing on the big screens, but we can’t fault the place for being busy. The food was awesome, the wine pretty good and the people watching was as entertaining as an evening on the weekend can only be… Plus, they do a whole pig!

Chicken parfait


No. More. Meat. I was officially done, spent, over any form of red meat. Such a contrast to the high of last week’s cattle and pig purchase. And therein lays the problem, too much meat exposure left me wanting a meal that was light and preferably sans meat. Unfortunately this was not to be the case as MC decided on a pub, and no ordinary pub, but one that is famous for its love of all things offal and meat.

Additionally, as MC mentioned, it was a busy Sat night, in which the Warratahs (local rugby team) happened to be playing, so the atmosphere was loud, rowdy and crowded. Yes, I know that is what a pub is supposed to be like but it did not make for a pleasant environment – particularly when sober. Perhaps if I had a few beers or wine under my belt I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more, but alas, alcohol was not part of my plan that evening.

booze free

Most pubs have the standard fare – chances are there will be some sort of pasta, schnitzel, fish and chips, burger and salad option on the menu, with most being accompanied by chips. Unless you are making your pub meal a ‘cheat meal’ then never order the chips (despite how delicious they may look!) – always ask for an extra serving of salad instead.

The Four In Hand pub menu is quite different, and what I would consider a ‘fancy pants’ pub menu. It contains solid hearty food, but if you are in the mood for light food, then it certainly is not the place to go.

I was disappointed because there was no chicken, and so had to have red meat …again…

The lamb Shoulder & the Corned Beef

Note the blurriness of the photo- was somewhat embarrassed to take a photo of food in a packed pub- so I rushed. MC

The corned beef and potato salad was good, tasted nice but not what I was after, so it really was a case of eating to get fuel in (much like last week).

Sometimes we have to treat food as that – purely as fuel.

My body did not want any more red meat (cue laughter from MC), and I should’ve listened to it. This is an important point to consider – tune into your body, because it will tell you what it needs. There will be days when I feel the need to go completely vegetarian, just as there are some days when I feel like my body needs an increase in calories (or what we call a re-feed day). The trick is to listen to your body and be aware of its subtle changes in performance, energy and daily patterns, and know how to tweak your nutrition and exercise regimes to accommodate this.

I know that for me this week, there is going to be a massive increase in green veggies, salads, and fish.

Sorry MC I know you consider that sacrilege, but a girl has got to do what a girl’s got to do…

So, The Four In Hand, I highly recommend going if you are in the mood for solid, meaty, wholesome meals, and want to engage in the burliness of the crowded bar, but if you want a more chilled option with lighter meals stay well clear.

And that, was the pub . Your thoughts??



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