"Is it too early to have a cocktail," I ask, somewhat facetiously, as I have already decided I’m having the Geary Boulevard ($18). Even though the yardarm had barely scraped past noon, my waitress's firm ‘never’ further steadies my resolve. Plus I muse, this drink contains grapefruit - along with a generous helping of Calle 23 Blanco tequila - so it’s practically a breakfast juice.
I consume it outside on the sun-drenched back balcony, wondering why it’s taken me a year to return to Bloodwood. The cocktail list contains some gems (my smoky breakfast juice notwithstanding); the beer list is enormous by most restaurant standards; and the wine list produces gems like the 2015 Ravensworth 'The Grainery' ($67). The latter is an utterly approachable, field blend of marsanne, roussanne, viognier and chardonnay from the Murrumbateman area.
It's a textural white wine that traverses our widely disparate selections from the sharing menu well; starting with a lightly Sichuan rendition of raw Hiramasa Kingfish ($23) resting on a juicy, wet green papaya, cucumber and pomelo base, and ending with a curry.
Served on plantain chips, Curry Leaf King Prawns ($27) is a yellow king prawn and scallop curry, that Is presented dry rather than saucy, and feels loosely Sri Lankan in style.
By contrast BBQ Pork Ribs ($26) feel a little heavy handed; the meat is overcooked and the fat is not particularly well rendered. They’re coated in barbeque sauce so heavy even pickled mustard greens can’t combat it, and it effectively drowns out any porky flavour.
In terms of the innovative combinations Bloodwood owners Mitchell Grady and Claire van Vuuren are famous for, Grilled Octopus, Pastrami ($21) doesn't disappoint. Slathered in chipotle mayo, the salted cabbage base comes topped with hunks of house-made pastrami and fat Fremantle octopus tentacles, scattered with fried beans – yep, it’s multicultural surf and turf of the highest order.
The Goats' Cheese Yorkshire ($20) will knock all thoughts of stodgy from your head. They've lined the traditional winter pud. with a chalky goats' cheese, and piled it on top of a shaved rhubarb and beetroot salad, sprinkling the lot with garlic crumbs. It's just the sort of filling salad you want to get stuck into on a beautiful, unseasonably warm, winter's day.
416 King Street, Newtown
Ph: (02) 9557 7699
NOTE: See a previous review for this venue back HERE.