The southern end of King Street has always been my preferred stretch in Newtown. Here you'll still find a chaotic jumble of shopfronts, dusty window displays and traces of its original bohemia. And yet capable of a surprise or two.
On the corner of Darley Street you'll find the Botany View Hotel, a local watering hole for blokes with TAB screens for punting and flatscreens for the latest in the footy.
Inside the Botany View Hotel
At the back is the neighbourhood secret - Darley Street Bistro with three blackboard menus traversing a dizzying range of options from $13 beef burgers to a decandent pork belly confit and crackling for $24. There's something for everyone, it seems with a Black Angus chargrilled rump steak at $16 with choice of sauce and sides, cajun-spiced barramundi quesadillas ($21) and four vegetarian options (bruschetta for $9, pizza for $12, vegetarian dips and sourdough for $16 and a haloumi stack for $19).
The kitchen is compact but efficient, simultaneously collecting money for orders and plating on the pass. Once you've ordered your meal (payment is by cash only), diners are handed a buzzer to alert them when their food is ready for pick-up.
Upstairs dining room
The dining room upstairs is where you'll find large groups of friends and families soaking up the sunlight in a bright and airy space. The vibe is completely different, especially out on the balcony where you can catch up on your Vitamin D.
Portuguese chicken burger $14
We're barely have time to finish our beer before our meals are ready. The Portuguese chicken burger is simple but generous in its quality of ingredients. A juicy chicken fillet is sandwiched between a sesame-topped bun with crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, aioli and a thick splodge of guacamole. And no burger is complete without french fries on the side.
Prawn linguine $22
After much indecision, I finally settle on the prawn linguine, a pile of slippery pasta tossed through with a rich oven roasted tomato sauce that packs more of a chilli kick than you'd expect. It's a perfect complement to the prawns, about half-a-dozen scattered throughout that are plump, aromatic and sweet. Greenery comes in the form of pesto dollops, sprigs of baby rocket and a raft of asparagus, blanched until just tender.
But my highlight of our meal? A little video gaming after lunch at an old skool two-player arcade table. All that was missing was the plastic stools but we battled through several games of 1942 and Pac-Man. Just like old times!
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Darley Street Bistro at the Botany View Hotel
597 King Street, Newtown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9517 1133
Monday to Sunday 12pm-10pm
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4/05/2012 01:29:00 am