Keith Haring is bouncing off the walls and furniture in an iconic inner city pub in Surry Hills. Veteran Australian restaurateur, Maurice Terzini, has relaunched The Dolphin Hotel with art installation vibes courtesy of interior designer George Livissianis. 

The adaptive re-use of the two level-venue is literally under wraps.  Feature walls in the public bar, casual dining area and intimate wine room are intentionally this way. Clad in creased white linen and tethered by ropes, their ripples add weighty texture to the monochromatic white space

Upstairs, the lounge features an L-shaped banquette and cube stools. White linen is covered in kinetic black figurative outlines and squiggles reminiscent of Haring’s cartoon-like work, and clad in plastic for a glossy sheen. They are the brush marks of Beni Single whose witty graffiti-like illustrations animate the bare walls throughout.

The drink offerings add a more serious tone. Premium spirits are muddled with individually bottled Australian mixers and herb infusions dolloped from pipettes. Negronis come in various incarnations; the one splashed with fresh grapefruit juice and basil adds a refreshing sour note to the cult classic. 

Nip in for a post work drink and graze on thin and ultra-crisp pizzas or linger by the fireplace on the the open-air terrace to sample the extensive wine offerings (every bottle is available by the glass). Highlights on executive chef Monty Koludrovic’s extensive modern Italian Australian menu include: grilled octopus with kipfler potatoes and salsa verde, gnocchi and green olives with braised lamb neck and cotoletta limone.