Have you walked down Enmore Road recently? The street that played second fiddle to Newtown's vibrant King Street for years is fast becoming a foodie hot spot, with an intriguing mix of the old and the new.
Sure, the second-hand clothing stores, take-away outlets and random assortment of retailers are still there – plus the star attraction of the Enmore Theatre - but a growing focus on small bars, craft beer and some of the best gelato around (minus the flash, pomp and crowded ceremony of the big city) is quickly putting this diverse village community on the map.
Here are a few places to loosen up the top button of those skinny jeans for a great dinner out, top notch weekend brunch or after show drinks and munchies.
Eat street: Enmore Road's hot spots
The banh mi at Great Aunty Three. Photo: Jennifer Soo
For a more exotic take on brunch, you can't go past Shenkin Kitchen's shakshuka, two poached eggs in a rich paprika, tomato and capsicum broth served alongside two home-made pillowy pita breads primed to mop the terracotta dish clean. Or, if you're in the mood for food with a southern twist, make your way to Silverbean for jambalaya, house-made pulled pork, gumbo and cornbread, or their specialty beans that are soaked overnight and cooked in spices. An alternative for all those vegans out there, or those who just want to eat that little bit healthier, is Revolution Foods. Try the signature Revo Burger with a burger patty made in house of walnuts, mushrooms oats and onions.
Shenkin Kitchen, 129 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9550 5511
Silverbean, 99 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9557 0006
Revolution Foods, 175 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9029 8990
Lunchtime grab and go
Along the strip there are a multitude of casual eateries from cafes to Thai restaurants to the classic dips of Sultan's Table and curries of Faheem. But the new face on the strip is Great Aunty Three. The rich smell of star anise fills the air from the pot of pho cooking, wafting through the doorway and drawing you in. Pop in and try its take on the Vietnamese street-food classic banh mi (bread roll) packed with fresh herbs, pickled carrot and a slow-cooked caramelised pork belly and to wash it all down, a glass of Vietnamese-style iced coffee makes perfect sense on a warm spring day.
Sultan's Table, 179 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9557 0229
Great Aunty Three, 115 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9519 2886
Faheem Fast Food, 194-196 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9550 4850 (weekend lunch only)
Coffee and dessert
Bravo Coffee is a family-owned and operated coffee roaster and one of Sydney's first specialised coffee houses. It has a rustic charm that has lasted through the years and served as a cornerstone to the Enmore community. Still in use is the original stone grinder from the store's inception in the 1950s. If it's that sweet craving you're chasing as we head into the summer, head to Cow & the Moon for its award-winning artisan gelati. It has queues going around the block many nights of the week. Popular flavours include the salted caramel banana and the popcorn but if you're on the adventurous side, try the turmeric, cardamom and pistachio option.
Bravo Coffee, 177 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9519 1204
Cow & The Moon Gelato Bar, 181 Enmore Road, Enmore, 9557 4255
Given barley is an essential ingredient in beer, it is quite appropriate that beer is now being brewed in the bottom of old grain silos, which have been given a new lease of life as apartments. In the 18 short months Young Henry's has been open, these craft brewers have made themselves an integral part of the Enmore community, supplying brews to the numerous bars that have sprung up in the area. For an approachable entrance to craft beers, head brewer Richard Adamson suggests The Newtowner. “It's a refreshingly easy kind of beer... with a great balance of the hop and malt character,” he says. If you are up for some of the “crazy stuff” as Richard puts it, try the Peach Braggot, a fruity cross between a mead and a beer, which was brewed up for Good Food Month.
Young Henry's, 76 Wilford St, Newtown, 9519 0048
Fuss free fine dining
There's a fine dining element to Enmore Road's food offerings too, thanks to the likes of Hartsyard and Russo & Russo, albeit with a casual twist. Hartsyard's chef and co-owner Gregory Llewellyn describes his offering as “big, full and not the place to diet.” Think fried chicken and crispy fried oyster po'boys. “We want it to “feel as though you've come to someone's house and relax with cocktails, with lots of elbow room,” Llewellyn says. A little further down the road is Osteria di Russo & Russo, whose dining room captures the spirit of an old-school Italian lounge room. Head chef Jason Saxby (formerly of Quay, and 2010 Young Chef of the Year) will have you licking the plate clean with his al dente risotto of crispy nettles and pecorino sardo, balanced with the sweet acidity from the balsamic currants.
Hartsyard, 33 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 8068 1473
Osteria di Russo & Russo, 158 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 8068 5205
Watched a show at the Enmore Theatre and in need of a junk food fix or late-night tipple? Grab a pizza across the road at Bar Racuda or head next door to The Sixth Borough for some Americana-style fast food, hot dogs, chilli fries and the like. The night doesn't have to stop there though. If you don't mind the crowds try The Midnight Special. If it's a more laidback atmosphere you're after, grab a glass of wine at the more intimate Waterhorse or follow the “Cocktails this way” sign into The Green Room Lounge for a lavender and cucumber martini and some old school 1930s jazz.
Bar Racuda, 105 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 9519 1121
The Sixth Borough, 134-146 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 9399 5981
The Midnight Special, 44 Enmore Rd, Newtown, 9516 2345
Waterhorse, 125 Enmore Road, Enmore, 0433 669 233
The Green Room Lounge, 156 Enmore Rd, Enmore, 8021 8451