What immediately strikes you about Newmarket Hotel is the impressive use of space. Its industrial urban chic contrasted with a cosy panache.
The space is divided between pub-come-bar-come-restaurant. The decor blends and overlaps one another and its the unmistakable change in scenery that marks the separation.
Pub/bar-goers linger around the front courtyard either in park tables or high tables tops. Venture further inside and you will find serious diners located firmly in proper tables and chairs.
The blended approach also takes shape in the menu. It promises a taste of latin, southern and californian influences. The menu reads so well that you wonder if you’re ever going to get out of there without ordering everything that’s on there! Uttering words like truffles, low and slow, 36 months matured and garlic chips. Everything reads deliciously that I just want to eat their words!
The bone marrow taco is unctuous. A gooey buttery mush with the chimichurra playing a helping hand in intensifying the flavours. I had it ‘with’ and ‘without’ the taco and preferred the marrow on its own. It didn’t require any meddling with the robust flavours of the spicy bbq brisket. It was simply gorgeous on its own. However at ($24) for three, our individual marrow piece came out on the smaller side and was no larger than an inch.
A healthy portion of the field mushrooms ($9) melded beautifully with the drizzled dollops of jalapeno crema and crunchy garlic chips. Both added texture, salty and umami notes to this earthy dish.
The triple cooked potato bravas ($9) was the perfect comfort food laced with two delicious sauces and rosemary sprinkles. Some potato nuggets were crunchy and some were soggy. So I was slightly let down on that front. But then again, no matter what state a potato is in, how can you ever say no?
With all that good word of mouth, I had to order the St Louis style pork ribs ($16 – one serve). Cooked in the traditional southern fashion, low and slow. These fall apart fatty and tender ribs came oozing in a luscious rich and smokey sauce. The apple slaw was absolutely sensational combining sweet and savoury notes along the palate against the lovely crunch of the salad slivers.
Apprilliosso ($18) Reposado tequila, violet, elderflower vanilla, peach and lemon.
The salty and savoury flavours of the pork belly ($38) had a great combination with the caramelised peaches. However, it was let down greatly by its execution, we found that the crackling didn’t have the customary shatter. Instead, it was thick, chewy and hard to break through. Every bit of the rind was unfortunately left discarded on our plates.
The Mexican salad ($16) came recommended by our waitress. I wasn’t sure about it at first but I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and delicious it tasted. Iceberg lettuce was served with radishes, jicama, sweet tomatoes, cactus & queso fresco (fresh Spanish cheese).
Overall, I was really impressed with my Newmarket Hotel. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly attentive. Food as a whole is tasty even though it tore me to pieces to discover no crackling. The incredible ambience and other tasty number didn’t quite make up for my loss. But it was more than enough to harbour a strong desire and plot my return.
Welcome to the Newmarket Hotel, for some good fancy pub grub.