There’s nothing that excites us quite like a hospitality venue with more than meets the eye. For plenty of that, you can always count on The Bank.
This month, the legendary Newtown boozer has added to its long list of friendly pub offerings with a funky new Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant. Opening last week inside The Bank, Avi’s Kantini is the latest addition to the King Street pub alongside its beloved craft beer bar Uncle Hops, and its live music haunt, Waywards. From the looks of it, it’s bound to make some delicious noise as it takes over the outdoor courtyard.
Steering well clear of traditional pub grub, Avi’s Kantini is bringing the pide, pita, and pints combo to your Newtown night out.
Come hungry with a group of mates and work your way through meze treats like Turkish lamb flatbread with hot pepper paste and baba ganoush; oozing baked saganaki cheese with honey, pistachio, and rose; and crispy chickpea falafel with muhammara and pomegranate. And of course, endless flavours of hummus, olives, garlic toum, and za’atar aplenty.
Next comes a dedicated pide menu where you’ll choose from fennel and tomato, potato and feta, or spicy merguez sausage with pumpkin, goat’s cheese and molasses. Finally, for sharing or just for your ravenous self, you’ll find mains like fish güvec with couscous, fennel, tomato, capsicum, and chilli; charred lamb shish with yoghurt, pickled hot chillies and sumac onion salad; or pita stuffed with sesame fried chicken, tabouli, pickles, cabbage, garlic toum, and Turkish peppers.
If you’re struggling to decide or you’re after a feast of every flavour, we recommend opting for the banquet ($45pp), which can also be done 100% plant-based. And don’t worry if you’re still looking to watch the footy in the front bar or some live music upstairs; you can order from the new menu anywhere in the three-storey venue.
But what good would a brand-new food menu be without some cocktails to match? Curated by Ed Loveday (ACME, Bar Brosé), keep the Eastern Mediterranean flavours flowing and try the “Nar” with vodka, pomegranate, sumac, falernum and lime; or the “Rezene” with Arak, elderflower liqueur, fennel, and Prosecco.
For more info on Avi's Kantini, including opening hours, jump over here.
Now, check out the best country pubs worth the road trip this winter.
Image credit: The Bank