While the predictable consequences of Lockout Laws are reaping havoc upon the character of Newtown, a level-by-level revamp is occurring in the original 1832 site of the ‘new town store’ from which the suburb drew its name.
Snatching back the area’s historical flavour, the first floor summons the 1920s with a bar turning out a surprising range of bespoke whisky cocktails.
The standout is Assistant Manager Andrew Tsai’s Jam and Smoke ($19.50), taming Bruichladdich Port Charlotte with Grand Marnier, lemon, egg white and marmalade, without losing the whisky’s aroma or peaty intent.
Their Hunter Valley wine focus means you can accompany your Hanger Steak ($22) with lesser-known varietals like juicy red 2014 Chambourcin ($11/glass).
The crackin’, tender, char-grilled steak, decked out with house-made chipotle butter, is teamed with brilliant chips, crisp onion rings and smoked jus. I’d return just to eat it again.
Welcoming bartender Joel Cockerill cleverly introduces me to Eagle Rare Bourbon in the form of a Peacharound ($19), the perfect cocktail accessory to...
...a heaving handful of Americana: Southern Fried Chicken, Bacon & Waffle Burger ($17.50).
And while it’s hard to top the stellar steak, the Mushroom Raviolo ($17.50) put up a good fight. Its toothsome pasta and Vegemite-enhanced mushroom filling that saw my carnivorous dining companion exclaim: “Finally vegetarian that tastes like beef!”
The Cross Eyed Dog
Level 1, Zanzibar, 323 King Street, Newtown
Ph: (02) 9519 1511