From giant chorizo and pork meatballs at 3 Weeds to towers of watermelon cubes with feta and mint pita croutons at The Animal, this weekend Sydney’s restaurants and cafes will fulfil all your feed needs, from every corner of the globe.
The Animal at The Newtown Hotel
The hidden little restaurant above The Newtown Hotel, The Animal looks American, but tastes Greek. The walls feature murals of The Beatles and Christopher Walken, and the tables are stamped with the face of Marilyn Monroe. Our pick of the meats is the coal-roasted suckling lamb, ordered with a side of lemon-roasted potatoes for that moreish hit every weekend deserves. The watermelon, feta and mint pita croutons are a beautiful stack of cubes that work as a deliciously decorative palate cleanser. For the whetting of whistles, we’d recommend their signature Keith Richards’ Coconut Incident; a medley of Lairds Applejack, coconut, lemon, and clue Curacao. Come get yo satisfaction.
Grab a burger, meat-eaters and vegetarians alike from Eat Burger, and sashay across the street to Cronulla Beach and soak up sunshine the way the weekend intended. The brainchild of Paul Camilleri, formerly of fine-dining Banc and Sojourn Restaurants, as well as Vic’s Meats, you can trust that the meat in your pattie isn’t old hattie. We’re excited about this week’s special slow cooked lamb with house-made tzatziki, sumac onions, and crisp oregano. Menu staples include the substantial wagyu burger with maple-glazed bacon, truffle aioli, tomato jam, and pickled red onions. Tie up this lazy lunch with shoestring fries with salsa verde, parmesan, and lemon.
Put on your kimono and sombrero for some South American and Asian fusion at Luis Tans in Bondi. With their eclectic team serving up South American snacks and drinks with an Asian twist, we recommend you go for the tomato-braised Black Angus beef short ribs with chimichurri and black turtle bean. If you’ve had enough meat for the week, Luis Tans also takes care of its vegetarians and vegans, with the ensalada de repollo (or cabbage salad) featuring a mishmash of red cabbage, shaved brussels sprouts, black rice, and edamame beans. Everything here is about harmonious contrast, with the décor of antique lamps and neon lights pleasantly off-kilter for a bit of weekend happy fun. The drinks menu cannot be overlooked, with South American rums and Japanese sakes making up one small part of a comprehensive, experimental menu. Check out the pisco champagne with purple shiso syrup and red grapes.
This tapas bar has the weekendy vibe down pat. Relaxed dining is key to happy times in this dimly-lit space with a brown paper, exposed brick, mural kind of vibe. Enjoy Ms Miller's selection of wines including cava albarino and tempranillo—a drink and food menu which focusses on moreish Spanish cuisine. Don’t skip the morcilla (black pud) with dehydrated apple and capsicum puree, nor the wagyu meatballs with pomegranate and mint yoghurt. Lucky for us, weekend brunch and lunch are also a thing here, with bocadillo baguette sandwiches bursting with pork belly, beetroot relish, aioli, rocket, and pickled green chilli calling your name. ¡Vamos, amigos!
Bang Street Food
Bangladeshi food like you’ve never (if ever) tried it is on the menu this weekend! Fish and vegetable based, the menu kicks off with paper cones of bhaji fritters topped with coconut chutney, followed by sure-fire winners like the fuska puffs of fried pastry filled with smooth, spicy mashed ‘taters, grated boiled egg and tamarind water. Bang Street Food's menu is exploding with new culinary avenues for you to explore this weekend, and you’ve got to get Bangladeshi and leave/make room for lal mohan syrup-soaked doughnut with caramelised peach, and saffron crème fraiche. You’ll relish absorbing your meal as you bask under the orb moon lamps and have your rum-spiked mint-infused BANG lassi topped up by tatto-esque tiger t-shirted staff. If you prefer wine and exploring colonial history, the Portuguese wine list needs your TLC.
A restaurant connected to a pub, 3 Weeds is the original fancy pub in Sydney that promises the finer things in relaxed environs. Where the chicken pot pie in the pub itself is a winner, we think you should go the extra ten metres into the olivey and leathery 3 Weeds restaurant and treat yourself to a pork and chorizo crepinette. A generous, juicy meatball plated up with a salad of radicchio, cornichon, and nectarine, this ain’t no Ikea meatball shovelled in while buying a new sofa bed. Get exotic and finish off with the hung cardamom yoghurt with cardamom, lemon, and vanilla syrup and crunch sugar and cinnamon dusted Lebanese bread as you sink into some plush lounges and bask in the glory of a weekend well-eaten.
Image credit: JackieLyn Powell at Ms Miller