Sunday, 14 July 2013

Darley St Bistro, Newtown - 12 July 2013

Upstairs dining area at Darley St Bistro
I decided to head to Darley St Bistro in Botany View Hotel (Corner King and Darley St, Newtown), which is located in the St Peters / Tempe end of King St, for a quick meal before seeing Adam Hills at the Enmore Theatre. It’s standard pub meal procedure at Darley St Bistro: order at the counter, take the buzzer and find a seat upstairs. There are three blackboard menus, one for standard pub fare (with items such as burgers and pizzas), one for more gastro-pub fare (with confits and slow cooked meats) and one for desserts. 

Lounge and graffiti art
Retro arcade game: Donkey Kong and Pac-man time!

Today I opted for the Pork Belly with Cream Corn Mash and my wife went for the Roasted Mushroom Pizza.

Pork belly confit with crisp crackling on cream corn mash, steamed Chinese broccoli
I did enjoy various aspects of the pork belly dish although I didn’t feel everything on the plate worked well together. Here’s what I did like: the pork belly and the cream corn mash, i.e. the core components of the dish. The meat of the pork belly was quite tender and could easily be pulled apart with a fork although it was a bit dry in some spots. The crackling was crispy (as advertised on the menu).

I love corn so the cream corn mash was quite enjoyable. So much so that the vegetarian at the table, my wife, kept stealing some from my plate. Best way to describe it is: think of a smoother, more refined version of what you find in a tin of cream corn you would find at the supermarket.

And what could have been better: the hoisin-like sauce and the veg. The sauce had the consistency of a jam and the flavours were a bit odd and overpower the pork and cream corn mash. I ended up not using it.
The steamed Chinese broccoli was just ordinary and bland vegetable that seemed to be just plonked onto the plate just so the dish had a vegetable in it.                  

Roast mushroom pizza, basil pesto, parmesan, rocket
The roast mushroom pizza was just like any pizza that you find on a standard pub menu. It was nothing special, but it certainly wasn’t bad. The pizza base was thin and crisp, the way good pizza bases should be. 

Highlight: Both my wife and I enjoyed the cream corn mash in the pork belly dish.
Lowlight: Not everything on the plate works well together. I don’t quite understand why everything comes with fresh chilli.   
Overall: Darley Bistro Inn is a decent little pub with a large blackboard menu containing a heap of options. The food here showed potential and does the job for an early meal before a show.  This is certainly much better than a lot of other pub food out there in Sydney. 6/10 (Good)

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