Sometimes things seem to happen in hyperspeed. You go from never having heard of a place and within a day, countless highly food-savvy people are happily talking it up. The place is Bloodwood in Newtown and though it’s only been open a week, it’s already gotten online endorsement from Gourmet Traveller’s Pat Nourse, TwoThousand’s Alex Vitlin, Australian Gourmet Pages’ Franz Scheurer and Time Out Sydney’s Myffy Rigby.
And yes, it lives up to its “worth the fuss” status.
The interior is ultra-cool, with birdcage lights, chairs in odd places, and half a door as a shop sign outside. The credit for that goes to Newtown-based designer Matt Woods, whose background in sustainable architecture is warmly reflected in the mix of industrial and reclaimed decor. The highly noticeable lights at the entrance though, were done by Melbourne’s Volker Haug, who has a whipsmart way of christening his work – ‘Rudolf’ is the name of the robotic antlers caught in a grid of yellow squares, and ‘Cool Bananas’ are the slanting pendants that poke out from the opposite wall.
The food, too, is worth your attention. Will can be a tough judge when it comes to dining out, but the Duck Sausage with Spiced Plum Sauce ($32) earnt an instant “this is amazing!” endorsement from him. And although he backed out of properly trying the Polenta Chips with Gorgonzola Sauce ($9), I can say they’re a golden-fried delight.
Lots of people walked by Bloodwood, double-taking when they realised it was a new place. Many asked for the menu and then walked out – it seemed like they were willing it to be a cafe with breakfast-heavy offerings. And yes, having Mushrooms in Red Wine with Confit Eschalots ($17) is a pretty heavy start to the day. But Newtown has lots of joints where you can grab eggs on toast; cool, small restaurants with character, personality and a menu with pedigree (thanks to ex-Claude’s chefs Jo Ward, Claire van Vuuren and Mitch Grady) in this area are much rarer. This is an addition to King Street that we’re amped about getting to know a lot better.
Bloodwood, 416 King St, Newtown NSW (02) 9557 7699, www.bloodwoodnewtown.com