I’m going to throw the Newmarket Hotel in to my group of restaurants that I would recommend to anyone that was looking for a rounded Melbourne hype/culture food experience. Off the top of my head, Mamasita, Longrain, Izakaya Den, Chin Chin, Golden Fields and Cookie are some other examples that would join this level of restaurant. They all pack out night after night, full of loud music, not on the cheaper side of pricing but serve up delicious assorted cuisines. Although you couldn’t eat at them every night of the week (maybe I could), though when you do you are sure to have a memorable experience.
The Newmarket Hotel is situated on Inkerman Road, on the same spot where Schnitz and Tits used to lie, just a casual stroll down from the corner of Grey and Barkly Streets in St Kilda. It’s large presence will make it hard to miss.
Let’s not play any games here, I’m on the continual hunt to satisfy a bottomless pit. I’m all about the food. At this point in time, I feel I need to comment on the unbelievably cool (and surely expensive) fit out. All the architect buffs should know who we can commend once again for the efforts here and its Six Degrees Architects. Six Degrees are the same folks that contributed to The Royal Saxon, Auction Rooms, De Clieu and Middle Park Hotel. Their resume speaks for itself, excellent looking cafes and restaurants. The Newmarket looks equally as brilliant. Indoor dining can be seen above, meanwhile practically the entire left wing comprises outdoor seating that can be used for diners and offers a top spot for a drink.
Undoubtedly the hottest selling dishes at the Newmarket would be their tacos. They are about the size of the palm of your hand, topped with an assortment of different and delicious toppings. The soft shell crab tacos, guacamole, shaved fennel, spicy corn ($17.00 for 2) was a wise order. The tacos are ultra soft and the crab has a delicate tempura coating. The verdict: Goddamn these are mighty fine!
The taco of the day was pulled pork, apple and coriander ($16.00). While the consumption of these was a short lasting experience, it was a memorable one. The only thought jingling through my head after two rounds of these amazing tacos, is …more tacos, more tacos. There is no question, next visit to this establishment will involve many more of these delectable treats.
BBQ corn on the cob with chilli and queso fresco ($6.00 each). While this dish has made a big name for itself in the restaurant industry, this chommer understands why they are showing up everywhere. Besides the fact that they are scrumptious, it must have something to do with the long lasting Aussie affiliation with these bright yellow vegetables.
Quaesadilla with huitlacoche, wood BBQ mushrooms, spinach and jack cheese ($17.00). This was served pre-cut and not sickeningly cheesy with the wrapping as more of a crepe like formula than the standard tortilla. Overall, this is a top entree and The Chommery would recommend it.
Wood roasted figs, spiced lamb and goat’s cheese dressing ($18.00). The figs were so soft they fell apart as you picked them up and the goat’s cheese dressing was gentle and tasty. Although they were delicious, I couldn’t justify paying such a high price tag for these again.
Large chopped Mexican salad, iceberg, radishes, jicama, sweet tomatoes, cactus and queso fresco ($20.00). Fresh, crunchy pieces of lettuce drowned in a mayonnaise dressing with a range of hidden goodies mixed throughout made for a simple salad that everyone loved. This Mex salad can be added to the ‘to order’ list when you head down either with or without me.
Triple cooked bravas potatoes with two sauces ($9.00). The Newmarket version of everyone’s favourite roast potatoes are divine. Each individual ‘tato has a great crunch to soft inside ratio, perfectly coated in a light mayonnaise and tomato/bbq based relish of sorts. Order this dish, you will love it, that’s our Chommery guarantee.
Yucaten style banana leaf wrapped wood roasted local snapper, jicama and lychee salad, smokey habanero salsa (for 2 @ $33.00 per person). These arrive in a DIY format in which you build your own taco. Add a small bit of the lychee salad, continue with some soft juicy pieces of snapper to form a small mound.
Constructed Yucaten snapper taco. Besides the smudge on the plate (left by the amateur photographer), I think the taco looks great. Tasted awesome too.
Daily wood oven signature rotissera specials of organic lamb and suckling pig interchange throughout the week. An assortment of Latin cured meats, half or whole roasted chicken and a variety of 300 – 600g premium beef options are also available. After hearing about all these other mouth watering choices I’m sure you can easily tell that this chom has most definitely only scratched the surface of offerings. We can call this Newmarket Part I, a sequel is in the making and sure to be released on the bloggosphere in the not too distant future. Unconfirmed rumours floating around that Spielberg and Tarantino are both in the running to direct it – under the name ‘Newmarket Hotel – The never ending chom’.
The Important Details…
Cuisine: Mexican & a bit Latino
Noise: Plenty of la Musica
Bookings: Via phone
Suitable for: Over 18+, pub environment
Dress: Slightly nicer than usual
Price: $50 per head
My View: Great hit of Mex in the burbs
Address: 34 Inkerman Road, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9537 1777