Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.
Mushrooms and Mario Kart – two solid reasons you should go check out the Black Sheep at Newtown. Not the red mushroom that will make Mario go faster but the sautéed mushrooms that made my eyes open as wide as my asian genes would allow me. They were pretty amaze-balls.
The Black Sheep was a nice break from the sea of busy Thai joints on King St. The bar was comfortable and spacious; not the ‘I’m slouched on a couch in my trackies’ comfy but a comfy where you’re sitting on wooden stools surrounded by stroke-able red velvet walls and lanterns with a REAL candle inside, not some plastic flickering piece of crap that pretends to be a candle.
Although we had to settle around the corner of the bar to get a bigger table, we were blessed with a nice view of antique frames hung on the wall and an air-conditioner completely painted in primary red.
The clipboard menu offered some tempting choices of $6 and $12 tapas and a good variety of cocktails made with fresh ingredients. One cocktail that stood out was the Voodoo Doll which included vodka, passionfruit, vanilla and fire. Fire?! How could you say no to fire!? That made the decision a tad easier. The tapas were generous and tasty, and we made the right choice ordering the three mini burgers. Other barhoppers enjoyed their corn cobs, patatas bravas and thinly sliced sweet potato with aioli dip but the crowd winner was definitely the sautéed mushrooms.
We were well looked after by the bartenders, and thought Christmas had come early when two plates of dessert landed on our table that we didn’t even order. Sadly our honesty got the best of us, damnit! While most barhoppers were chatting away and commenting on/stroking the velvety wall, a few of the barhoppers couldn’t resist the Nintendo 64 arcade standing against the wall by its lonesome, with a sign above that said ‘Mario Kart , time to beat – 35 seconds’. Apparently if you beat Pete (the owner/record holder), you get free drinks all night. Challenge… accepted. But let’s not go quoting the barhoppers on this if you decide to visit the Black Sheep.
We soon realised it’d take a few more practices to win a free night of drinks but putting that aside, we were impressed with the simple but tasty tapas and the refreshing cocktails Black Sheep had to offer. The bar was very balanced in terms of decor, food, drinks, atmosphere and polite Russian bartenders in snapbacks. You can tell the bar is still young but give it time and I’m sure the barhoppers will have another reason to return, apart from mushrooms and Mario Kart.
-TLThe Black Sheep