Where: 399 King Street Newtown
Opening Hours: Tue - Fri 6pm - 9.30pm, Sat - Sun 12pm - 2.30pm, 6pm - 9.30pm
Phone: 02 8068 1080
Spencer Guthrie opened on King Street a few months ago and is an amply sufficient reason to leave your neighborhood if you’re not a Newtown local. If you are a local, you’re no doubt already grateful for this addition of civility to your surrounds. You'll find it just down the road from King Sreet Station, close to New Theatre.
They’re not licensed yet so take your own wine, beer or West Coast Cooler (corkage $8.50 per bottle). Some confusion about this meant we completed a few laps between the Sandringham Hotel and our table before sorting ourselves out with some beer. We were told that the future drinks list would feature biodynamic wines and local beers.
The interior is soft and warm. Polished concrete walls, along with an abundance of wood and the open kitchen, create a homely atmosphere. This restaurant would be ideal for a private function - that is, if all guests were aware that the bathroom is concealed behind a slab of verdant astro-turf. The door’s devious disguise as a portrait o’ lawn would be fine if it led somewhere less necessary than a toilet. That said, the lush greenery inside made me forgive the subterfuge.
In line with the recent moratorium in Sydney on the words 'entree', 'main' and 'dessert', the menu offers ‘To Start’, ‘To Follow’ and ‘Something Sweet’. The Pambula Rock Oysters on special were excellent, as was the silky smooth Ocean Trout ($20). The food is elegant and simple, with the desserts doing exactly what desserts should do - ending the evening better than it started. The All Things Chocolate ($15) selection of brownie, caramel gel and chocolate sorbet is very good.
Spencer Guthrie’s website pitches the business as a 'modern Australian restaurant with a focus on locally grown, seasonal and sustainable produce;, which sounds about as unique as any restaurant ever opened in Australia in the last twenty years. Don’t be fooled – it’s a friendly, wonderful place with an enigmatic bathroom door.
Anything finished with All Things Chocolate
Good For Groups: