With a new year in full swing, it’s time to start checking off our never ending list of places to visit in and around Melbourne. The first on our list was the Newmarket Hotel, which was perfect as the summer heat had turned on so we could sit outside on their outdoor bit to enjoy the weather.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
The Newmarket Hotel is a true Melbourne icon located off the beaten track of St Kilda on the quite end of Inkerman Street. The front exterior leaves much to be desired with large brick walls and open concept windows and simple signage. However, walking through the front door, the space is transformed into a stylish, upbeat warehouse style venue.
With a facelift taking place in 2011, 6 Degrees Architects worked their magic to revamp the space, keeping key elements from the old school structure. There are several different sections of the restaurant available, including the front entrance and alfresco outdoor sections for those looking for a more casual dining experience, or the main dining room and back private dining space for those looking for a full service dining experience.
The space features a modern industrial atmosphere with dark wooden tables, concrete floors and planters, a variety of hanging light fixtures and greenery accents throughout. Larger leather bucket chairs also fill the space creating a dramatic edge to the dark wooden tables.
The service I found friendly and attentive from the moment we walked in. Although it was a quiet night, we were welcomed with smiles from all the staff, orders taken promptly and the food came out quick. Everything you would want for a quick night out with tasty food.
The Newmarket Hotel serves up a menu inspired by Southern Californian cuisine with elements of Latin America. We’re talking tacos, quesadillas and mouth watering meats, just to name a few!
We ordered a few entrees to share while we enjoyed our cocktails in the summer heat. Within a short time of ordering, our ‘Guacamole & Corn Chips’ came out, served with pice de gallo, plaintain chips and corn chips. There wasn’t much flavour to the guacamole and needed to add some salt to bring out the flavours.
Next out was the ‘Bravas’ which are triple cooked potatoes with rosemary and sauce. For being triple cooked, they weren’t as crunchy as I would have thought they would have been. Although not crunchy, they were jam packed with delicious flavourings.
Our final entree to arrive was the ‘Fried Calamari & Cuttlefish’ served with padron peppers & creole aioli. This was a smaller portion than I’m use to, however the meat was well seasoned and cooked. Definitely a great little entree to start with.
Our last dish to come was our main meal which we decided to share as we weren’t overly hungry. The ‘Hay Smoked Half Chicken’ served with braised carrot, roasting juices, scorched corn was absolutely stunning. The chicken was tender and juicy, the veggies tender, yet a slight crunch and the jus delicious. Definitely the highlight of our meal.
Overall the food, service and atmosphere were great. I loved the style of the restaurant with the industrial vibe, and the food matched perfectly. I’d love to head back on a busy night to get a true idea of the vibe as it was quite quiet when we dined here.