There are two blocks on King Street that I almost never walk through, thanks the intricate layout of streets in the area. On the rare ocassions that I do have to walk through them there’s always a new shop, quite often food-related. That’s how a few weeks ago I discovered Smash.
The place was deserted but the words “sausage kitchen” made an impression on me. I’m not a big fan of sausages, but those words made the place unique. In a suburb overloaded with many of a kind (think: Thai restaurants, cafes with similar menus, pubs, etc.), it’s refreshing to see something that sounds unique.
Days have been chilly lately, so it was not a problem to pick the perfect day to eat bangers and mash. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was starving. It was a bit late, so the place was empty. The owner (note to self: start asking owner’s names when they have a chat with you) brought us menus and asked if we were South American. Sounds like a silly question but you would be amazed to find out how many different ethnic origins we’ve been linked to. The reason he asked, besides the obvious physical truth, was because he wanted to establish a connection to us: the fact that his chef was Latin American, too. Carlos, from El Salvador, served as ice breaker for this business owner who’s clearly making things right.
The decor of the place is funky and cheerful, with bright-coloured chairs and a comic mural on one wall (it seems to be a trend lately), which matches the restaurant’s logo and the Comic Sans font in the menu.
The look we had at the menu was really quick. We skipped the brunch items and went directly to the “smash up!” section. For $18 you can come up with your own combo of sausages, mash and gravy. All of them sounded tempting and we’ll have to go back and sample more. I chose the beef & Guinness sausages with sweet potato mash and mushroom gravy. Alvaro chose the chicken, cheese & baby spinach sausages with creamy potato mash and traditional gravy. To get our share of veggies we ordered a roasted pumpkin with rocket, macadamia nuts & goats cheese salad.
The salad and Alvaro’s dish came first but unfortunately they had mixed our orders and it had my mash. The owner immediately took the plate back to the kitchen to correct the mistake and came back with the right orders.
“Carlos just told me that potatoes come from Peru”, he said, while he placed Alvaro’s plate with potato mash in front of him. He also asked if we were big on sausages back home and I answered that only chorizo and frankfurters were popular over there. I had forgotten the amazing salchicha de Huacho, which I’ll post about later.
Alvaro’s sausages were long but thin, so there were 3 on the plate. They were tasty, the mash was alright (hard to compete with Peruvian potatoes) and the gravy, which conveniently comes in a separate plate for those who don’t like it all over their mash, was good.
Chicken, cheese & baby spinach sausage, creamy potato mash, traditional gravy ($18)
My sausages were shorter and fatter, so I got 2. They were great, too, and even when I’m not a sausage connoiseur I can tell they didn’t taste like the cheap stuff you get, say, outside Bunnings. The sweet potato mash was alright, too (again, hard to compete to Peruvian camotes) and the gravy was nice and thick.
Beef & Guinness sausage, sweet potato mash, mushroom gravy ($18)
The salad was great. Not the most exotic of ingredients but the proportions were right (not a bed of rocket with a cube a pumpkin, a smear of cheese and half a macadamia) and the dressing was spot-on.
Roasted pumpkin with rocket, macadamia nuts & goats cheese ($12)
I asked for the bill and the owner asked how to say it in Spanish. And when we left he said goodbye with a gracias. Excellent customer service and the curiosity to try the other sausage/mash/gravy flavours will make us revisit this place soon.
Smash Sausage Kitchen
512 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9516 5424