At some magic point the Botany View Hotel underwent a major reconstruction and went from a dodgy old man pub with tiles on the wall to the place to be in South Newtown. There's the lively poker games and rowdy trivia nights and Sunday night live music... but more than that there's the Darley St Bistro.
I was convinced to go by a friend with a bit of intrepidation in my voice. This pub is about 2 doors up from me in Newtown and I still had no compulsion to go based on the looks. Boy was I surprised, the food is eye rolling, plate pointingly good and has now become a staple in my eating landscape. The only unfortunate thing I can say about the Darley St Bistro is that the rest of the neighbourhood seems to have found it too and getting a table at prime dinner time is now a nightmare.
Nonetheless it's definitely worth a try, especially if you can get there at lunch when you're more likely to get a comfy seat outside. Every meal we've tried here has been good, but do try something that's not just standard pub fair... it's far too good.
Home made gnocchi with chorizo, arugula and basil oil $14
Now when you order gnocchi at the pub, you kind of expect mass produced hard nuggets to appear. These soft delicious and butter fried gnocchi were a real surprise. Swimming with fresh arugula and slices of crisp fried chorizo. A great meal on a warm Sunday afternoon with a pint.
Confit of pork belly with broccoli and sweet corn mash $24
Sweet soft pork belly with a crisp top and a chili jam are presented with sweet creamy soft corn mash that cuts through the fat. You'll never be so happy to stop caring about the fat intake.
Chicken Burrito with Guacamole $20
You might think this is "just a burrito" but as the chef said to me once "it's made with a bit of love." Newtown is quite light on good Mexican but this kills my cravings ten fold and leaves me salivating for another for days. Filled with rice, just the right amount of chilli sauce and cheese and crisped in a soft tortilla it's topped with a creamy chipotle sauce and served with guacamole and sour cream.
Pumpkin canneloni with blue cheese sauce $16
The filling of these canneloni is soft and sweet delicious, but full of veges and light enough to make you feel good afterwards. The edges of the canneloni are crisped and caramelised and the soft blue cheese sauce cuts through the sweetness with its acidity. Be warned though, this is a large serving, don't be scared to give up.
Corned beef with mash, honey mustard sauce and greens $18
This is not your grandmother's corned beef! The meat is soft and shreds perfectly under a fork, it's only barely pickled but tangy enough to excite. The mash isn't anything special but you will chase the sweet acidic sauce with it. Topped with one of my favourites - asparagus. Just perfect.
Lemon Myrtle Cheesecake $12
It's highly unlikely you'll have space left for dessert, but if you do they're definitely worth it. No boring neufchatel French cheese cake this packs a punch with the citrusy taste of Lemon Myrtle, an Australian native seed that adds bite and texture to a dense creamy dessert. Recommended.
As if this wasn't enough the Botany View also stocks a range of premium beer and cider on tap. $16 for a jug of Bulmers? Yes please. Get yourself down there, there's no excuse for eating at The Townie when this food is on offer barely 10 mins walk away.
Botany View Hotel
Dinner: 7 nights 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Lunch: Fri, Sat and Sun 12pm - 2.30pm
597 King Street Newton
PH: 9519 4501
Fax: 9517 9004
Pub atmosphere, fully licensed
Children welcome upstairs in family eating area only