Review: Inner West Live Xmas lunch at Coopers Bistro (Newtown)

It’s been a while since my posts started getting published in the Inner West Live website. I had serious doubts about somebody being interested in reading my stuff, but fortunately it looks like my writing is far more articulate and entertaining than myself and there are human beings that actually click on my posts and even read the whole things. Amazing.

The editor of the IWL had the great idea of getting us together (us meaning people who contribute with articles to the site) so he sent out an invite for an after Christmas lunch on Monday at the Coopers Bistro. We were allowed to bring friends and partners along, so I went with Alvaro.

We arrived on time and started to wander around the tables looking for the red toy that was supposed to be on the table to identify it. In the beginning we failed to see it (or maybe it wasn’t there) but after a few minutes Alvaro noticed it hanging from a wall next to a table in the courtyard. The editor knew who we were (easy to tell, being the only sudacas in sight) and he introduced us to the lovely guys who were already there.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the looks of the place; I had only been downstairs at the pub and it looked pretty much like all the others. However, the bistro upstairs is quite fancy and comfortable at the same time.

Coopers: The bistro

Coopers: The courtyard

Even the loo is cool. Once there I noticed I had my camera in my pocket and took a pic of the stylish glass tiles.

Coopers: Bathroom glass tiles

The beer selection is not great but it’s not bad. There was Fat Yak on tap, so that’s what I had. The weather was shitty, it had been raining in the morning and it was super cloudy, so an ale was the way to go.

Finally somebody mentioned the word food and my stomach smiled. I had flicked through the menu but wasn’t sure what to get so I read it over and over. We got a word of advice from the editor: do not order the Haloumi wontons. Alvaro got a bit sad because he was thinking in ordering them but got over it soon with the good sounding options in the menu. He finally chose the grilled barramundi (no risotto again! yay!) and I ordered the marinated lamb salad.

People were warned that there were food bloggers in the house so they were cool and waited until the photos were taken to start eating. If you’re reading this: thanks guys!

Our meals were good, not spectacular but above average, generously served and reasonably priced. Alvaro’s meal was nice, but I would have liked more coriander pesto on the salad.

Grilled barramundi, avocado salsa, pistachio nut and coriander pesto ($22)

Coopers: Grilled barramundi, avocado salsa, pistachio nut and coriander pesto

My salad was very nice, too, again not the ultimate meal but tasty and filling.

Marinated lamb salad w/ toasted pine nuts, pumpkin, zucchini, charred red capsicum, mixed leaf and house dressing ($19.5)

Coopers: Marinated lamb salad

Speaking of generous servings, the bangers and mash were huge and looked very good. If you’re into traditional Aussie cuisine (yeah, right) and have a big appetite, go for it. And it’s only 17 bucks.

Bangers and mash w/ onion gravy ($17)

Coopers: Bangers and mash

One of the vegetarians at the table ordered the pumpkin, ricotta and mushroom lasagna plus a Greek salad. She said the lasagna was tasty, it certainly looked good.

Pumpkin, ricotta and mushroom lasagna ($21)

Coopers: Coopers: Pumpkin, ricotta and mushroom lasagna

Greek salad ($8.5)

Coopers: Greek salad

The risotto looked good, too, but I forgot to ask how it was. The ingredient combo is a no-brainer, so it all depends on the technique.

Roast pumpkin and rosemary risotto tossed with goats’ cheese and shaved pecorino ($20)

Coopers: Roast pumpkin and rosemary risotto

Another vegetarian got the mushroom, feta and pesto pizza, which was apparently awesome because it disappeared in less than five minutes

Mushroom, feta and pesto pizza ($19)

Coopers: Mushroom, feta and pesto pizza

There was a mezze plate for two ordered to share. I ate some olives and pita with dips, which were alright, but there were two big flaws in the dish: first of all, they put salad on top of the pita, making it impossible to get a piece of bread without having to grab several lettuce leaves with your hand (because who eats pita and dips with a knife and fork?) and either toss them or eat them. The second flaw was the amount of grilled haloumi, definitely not enough.

Mezze plate – for two people: Olives, marinated eggplant, grilled capsicum, grilled haloumi, grilled baby octopus, lamb skewers, smoked eggplant dip, and hommos, w/ pita bread ($41)

Coopers: Mezze plate

Fries were also ordered to shared, which were exactly how I like them: thicker than fast-food fries, soft in the centre and crunchy in the outside.

Fries ($8.5)

Coopers: Fries

We had a great time but unfortunately had to leave around 4 pm. Looking forward to the next one!

Coopers Bistro
221 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9550 3461

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