Review: Darley Street Bistro (Newtown)

For my birthday dinner I had a hard time picking a place. My friends don’t live within the same area and it was a Tuesday night, so I was a bit concerned about them being able to get there easily. My first choice was Agape but even for me it would have been a pain to get there. Finally, I settled with Darley Street Bistro, which according to other people’s reviews fits into the BBB category (bueno, bonito y barato, Spanish for good, pretty and cheap). As a bonus, the bar has a nice range of beers on tap. Oh, and it’s only five minutes away from my place.

My sister, my husband and I arrived there at 6 pm sharp. Thanks to the daylight savings, it was still sunny and warm. We started drinking beer while we waited for our friends to arrive.

The bistro is located upstairs the Botany View Hotel. You can enter via the pub or through a door that is right next to the kitchen. The dining room is very classy comparing to the outer look of the pub. There’s a courtyard too, but we decided to stay inside just in case the temperature dropped at night.

Restaurant decoration

When almost everybody was there we started taking turns to go downstairs and order food. There’s no printed menu, it’s all written on blackboards right next to the kitchen.

Snacks menu

Mains menu

Mains menu

Pepperjack blackboard menu

Snacks and desserts menu

With only three repeated orders, I had a nice selection of dishes to shoot and hear opinions about.

The first ones in receive their plates were Marcelo and Sergio. Marcelo ordered the chicken burrito and Sergio the corned beef. Marcelo, who has training in hospitality, was impressed with the presentation of the meals. They were both pleased with the taste, too.

Grilled chicken burrito marinated in Cajun spices, slow cooked in lime & chipotle served w/ rice and cheese in a crisp tortilla. Sides of guac & sour cream ($16)

Grilled chicken burrito

Corned beef braised in honey, American mustard & peppercorns served on Parmesan mash w/ a Dijon cream sauce, wilted baby spinach & grilled asparagus ($18)

Corned beef braised in honey

Gladys ordered a dish I had considered, too, the Cajun spiced barramundi quesadilla. I had a few bites with some guac and sour cream and liked it a lot. The serving (as with most of the dishes) was huge, she couldn’t finish it.

Cajun spiced barramundi quesadilla w/ cheese, Spanish onion & fresh coriander & sweet chilli sauce served w/ guacamole ($19)

Cajun spiced barramundi quesadilla

Ana ordered the massaman infused braised lamb shank in spite of the complaints of his husband who hates curries. It was very fragant so I felt sorry for him. The serving was huge, Ana said it was good but too spicy. Rale ordered the baby lamb rump with creamy mash just because there were lots of ingredients in the dish description. I had considered that dish too, and it look so good I think I’ll have it the next time I go to the bistro.

Massaman infused braised lamb shank served with potato & curry, rice steamed, potted yogurt & salsa ($19)

Massaman infused braised lamb shank

Baby lamb rump dusted in rosemary salt on creamy mash & Parmesan cheese w/ garlic, spinach & grilled Haloumi and jus ($25)

Baby lamb rump on creamy mash

Vicky wasn’t too hungry for a main and decided to order an entrée instead. I think she didn’t anticipate the size of the serving (this pic was taken after a few wedges were already gone).

Potato wedges

Bonnie ordered the crispy skin corn fed chicken with kumara mash. It looked tasty and huge, I think she liked it but left a big chunk of the mash (it seems that it was actually sweet potato) because it was too dry. I tried a bit of the mash, the flavour was good but it was indeed dry.

Crispy skin corn fed chicken, a whole organic chicken breast served on garlic & rosemary infused kumera [sic] mash w/ wilted spinach, pancetta & thyme jus ($22)

Crispy skin corn fed chicken

Our vegetarian friend Neil chose the goats cheese, lemon, mint and roast tomato risotto. He had wedges as an entrée, too. And he didn’t end up full (in his defence, he shared some wedges).

Goats cheese, lemon, mint on roast tomato rissotto [sic] w/ grilled eggplant & asparagus ($17)

Goats cheese, lemon, mint on roast tomato rissotto

Alvaro chose the kangaroo fillet on beetroot & chilli risotto. The meat was medium rare and tasty. The risotto was well cooked and the flavour combination was very pleasant. I think I liked it more than Alvaro.

Flinder’s range kangaroo fillet dusted in fresh crack pepper seared & oven roasted served on a beetroot & chilli risotto with chocolate flavoured jus ($18)

Kangaroo on beetroot & chilli risotto

I chose the vegetarian cannelloni, which has been recommended by other reviewers. They’re not regular cannelloni, but more like wraps. Either way the flavour was good, but the filling was a bit dry, and because it was not regular cooked pasta, it was dry too. With so many other good options I think I won’t order this one again. The serving was huge, I ended up completely stuffed.

Darley St vegetarian pumpkin & spinach canelloni [sic] served on a warm blue cheese w/ rocket salad tossed in lemon oil & almond & sage butter ($17)

Darley St vegetarian pumpkin & spinach canelloni

Andrey was the last to order, when everybody else had already eaten, so his rump steak wasn’t shot. But judging by how fast he finished it, I’d say it was pretty good.

Then it was time for cake. I had baked a Sicilian ricotta cheesecake (with hazelnuts, dark chocolate and mixed peel, and sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar) but I wasn’t sure if it could hold the candles so I baked a mini yogurt & strawberry cake just for the candles.

Mini yogurt  & strawberry cake

Sicilian ricotta cheesecake and mini yogurt  & strawberry cake

After the cake, most of our friends left. We finished our drinks and headed to the pub downstairs for a few more drinks and a pool competition between three of the guys.>

Darley Street Bistro
597 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02)9517 1133

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