Once a tired, decidedly uncool stretch of road in Newtown, Enmore Road has steadily become the place to eat and drink. As King Street becomes inundated with folks looking for a good, possibly rowdy night out, the foodies and wine aficionados have retreated up Enmore Road’s gently sloping hill to eat in some seriously tasty, seriously innovative restaurants and bars.
Cow and Moon
Since winning the 2014 Gelato World Title in Italy, this little neighbourhood institution has attracted queues on the reg. We’re talking the kind so long that they snake around the corner, held at bay by a red velvet rope. The wait for a double serve of banana salted caramel, and fig and candied walnut is worth it. And the queue moves quickly.
The Stinking Bishops
Named for an especially pungent English cheese, Stinking Bishops is perfect for a bright, cold glass of white wine and a cheese board featuring the soft, the stinky, the mouldy and the creamy. Whatever tickles your cheese fantasies, you’ll find it right here.
Sometimes, if it’s late enough and you’re lucky, you can walk right into Hartsyard and eat. If you’ve already had dinner, it’s worth the stop for one of their epic, we’re talking enormous, desserts. Portions are big and hearty, and Hartsyard treats starters with as much reverence as mains. Start with buttermilk ranch chicken skin with dilly beans and a confit carrot, kale and cashew salad. Move on to poutine, chips topped with braised beef shin, beer and cheese sauce, or smoked lamb ribs with a white barbecue sauce. The wine and cocktail lists are extensive, but beer is the best thing to cut through the richness of a Hartsyard dinner. Leave your choice in the staff’s hands by ordering a kitchen beer, which is a tinnie of whatever is good that night.
If Hartsyard is rich and meaty, Sadhana Kitchen is the opposite. The menu is raw, vegan, gluten and refined sugar free. Seemingly all the food deprivation trends in one place, but in actual fact Sadhana’s menu is delicious. The Enmore Soul Bowl with nori, caramelised tempeh, smashed avo, brown rice topped with wasabi mayo is a belly-filling staple. If you’re craving something more familiar, try the Cheezeburger, a vegan take with a handmade plant patty topped with cashew cheddar. There are four different chais on offer, but we prefer the original, house-blended latte made with soymilk.
An Erko original, Israeli café Shenkin opened another spot in Enmore Road so you don’t have to go so far to get your shakshuka. That’s eggs cracked into a pan of perfectly spicy, saucy, tart tomato and capsicum, broiled and served with piles of fluffy pita bread.
Faheem’s isn’t fancy. The half tiled walls and fluorescent lights haven’t been updated in a long time, but the Pakistani and Indian food, served until the wee hours, is worth it. To boot, it’s a favourite after work haunt for chefs, so you know it’s good. Try the Lahori Fish Fry, tender white fish coated in crispy, spicy batter and follow it with Haleem King of Curry, a traditional Pakistani curry of four types of lentils, beef shreds, coriander and fried onions. Oily, hot naan bread is the only thing to sop up the sauce. Wash it all down with an Indian soft drink like Thums Up, a tasty cola.
Sister to Continental Deli and Porteno, Stanbuli’s Turkish fare is gorgeous and fresh. The space is in the Marie Louise hair salon, a heritage listed 60s salon. The shop front, bright pink and purple and Jetsons’ space age, was left intact, but inside is a luxurious Middle Eastern oasis. Dark wood is accented with bright white and blue tiles, and plenty of leafy plants. Stanbuli’s vegetarian fare is just as filling (and tasty) as its meat dishes, so don’t be afraid to eschew House Kebap with lamb for Pancar, a beetroot and cows milk curd salad.
Queen Chow And Smelly Goat
Some would say that once Merrivale has moved in, the neighbourhood has arrived. Whatever your opinion, Merrivale has taken over Enmore’s Queens Hotel and opened an incredible cocktail bar and a Chinese restaurant. It’s all about delectable Hong Kong style dim sum. Have an order of spring rolls with your pint, or roll up your sleeves and put on a bib for mud crab and a cocktail.
The Smelly Goat lives upstairs, and Bar Manager Harrison Westlake has taken classics like the Bloody Mary and Old Fashioned and made them new. If we were to argue that cocktails were healthy, we’d lose, but there’s something to be said for the vegetable content of Smelly Goat’s cocktails. You’ll find native fennel, carrot, beetroot and rhubarb on the ingredients list. It’s almost like a juice cleanse, but way more fun.
You could go around the world eating in Newtown, but Cairo Takeway is the first spot to take you to Egypt. There are plenty of things on the menu that you might recognise from other Middle Eastern eateries—a variation kofta can be found in Afghan, Persian, Lebanese and Turkish cuisine—but Cairo Takeaway does it with an uniquely Egyptian twist. Falafel is bright green, Fuul Madamas, or slow cooked fava beans are served with boiled eggs, and breakfast cous cous is served with poached fruit and pistachios.
ToriBar, as in yakitori or Japanese grilled meat skewers, is delicious, whether you have a squeamish or adventurous stomach. Classic dishes like chicken hearts and giblets are on the menu next to more familiar pork belly, wagyu, prawn and miso eggplant. As for drinks, we’ll only mention one, because they had us at “Japanese negroni”. The sagroni is made with sake, Campari and vermouth.
You might not have been to the Young Henry’s Brewery and Tasting Bar on a Newtown back street, but you’ve probably tried their beer. On tap and in the bottle at pubs, bars and bottle shops around the Inner West, Young Henry’s has established itself as one of the area’s most popular brewers. The tasting bar is an open space at the front of the brewery with high tables; stools and a sign reading “don’t be a dickhead”. Wiser words were never framed on a wall. In the background, industrial vats brew core offerings like the pale Newtowner and the Cloudy Cider, as well as seasonal brews like Craic & Barrel, a barrel-aged Irish red ale.
Enmore’s restaurants are plenty, but not plenty enough because they always seem to be packed. Cittavino is the perfect place to while away the time while waiting for your table at a nearby restaurant.
It’s a cosy, narrow room with close seating and a tall shelf full of wines you can have there or takeaway for BYO. The wines are mostly imported by Cittavino; and come from as far away as Spain, Italy, and France, as well as from close to home thanks to some choice Australian producers.
Looking for more things to do? Head here.
Image credit: Queen Chow