399 King Street, Newtown, 2042
Always ones to sniff out a new restaurant, we try this venue about 5 weeks after it opens. The decor and atmosphere are calming and naturalistic, the walls are this lovely textured paint and the staff are professional. The menu is a great size: 5 of each course, with a couple of daily specials to boot.
To start we are gifted with fresh warm bread, served with good quality butter and pink rock salt. The bread is directly out of the oven and dotted with black sesame seeds.
My vegetarian lady-friend orders the special: tagliatelle (house-made) with mushrooms in a white wine and truffle oil sauce ($25). She is very impressed and tells me I need to lift my game in the pasta making stakes. I have always wanted to try braised lettuce so order the Pan-roasted ruby snapper, braised cos, zucchini and prawn butter ($31). Friends, this is a lovely dish. Crispy capers dot the plate, wafer thin aldente zucchini strips and oily and slightly crunchy cos lettuce complement the strongly flavored fish beautifully.
Half our wine remains (corkage is $8.50, a wine list will be revealed in the coming weeks) so we opt for a cheese and caraway cracker plate ($18) to help the merlot on its way down. The plate has three lovely cheese on it: a mature Cheddar and a White Mould from Victoria and a lovely Blue from Tasmania. The white mold – Old Telegraph Road Fire Engine Red – is the best bit of fromage I’ve tasted in a long while. The farm from which it hails almost burnt in the Victoria Bush fires a couple of years back, and have since names this cheese after their saviors – the firefighters.
All in all we had a lovely night at Spencer Guthrie and I highly recommend you check out this gem of a restaurant.