PLACE: This is where to find Sydney’s hottest tart and no, I’m not talkin’ about me. Wine bar and tapas at Onyx Lounge on King Street, Newtown. That’s where. Our city is famous for places like this opening and closing before you can blink, but we’re hoping newly-opened Onyx Lounge has longevity. Its central location is a plus and it’s right next to the train station so there’s no excuse to be a drink-and-drive idiot. Live music on weekends. If you’re visiting Sydney and want inner city urban cool, this is it. Get a train on the Inner West line from Central.
VIBE: Newtown retro chic, the way only Newtown can do it. A lot of perching or squatting on stools tall and short, but there’s also bentwood chairs and banquette seating. The fabric is straight up 70s, and so is the orange. Rope curtains give the illusion of varied space and intimacy. The bar is 6 metres long and the drinks list is about that long as well.
OCCASION: Rare mother-daughter date night, with a friend of my daughter’s post-celebrating her 21st.
DRINKS: Let’s start with mojitos. Actually, we don’t go anywhere after that. It’s mojitos all the way. Lime, passionfruit, strawberry, blueberry lavender. You name it, we drink it. The fruit and white rum flavours are extremely well balanced. And they’re absolute slammers. They should come with a warning. At only $10 each they’re the drawcard for getting new customers in.
FOOD: The menu is mostly designed for share plates. We over order. As you do. The highlights for us are the prawn and fish ceviche $12, which is super fresh and generously proportioned; empanadas with a three-chilli sauce $14; croquettes of chicken breast, shallots and coriander $14; the warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice cream $9, the flaming chocolate tart with berry coulis $10, espresso ice cream with coffee tequila liqueur $10. That tart is a stand-out. For a sweet, it’s almost savoury, with deep, complex chocolate flavours.
VALUE: $A156 for three, which included the slammer mojitos and more food than we could eat. For Newtown, where you can eat for a lot or next to nada, it’s upmarket bang for your buck.
CHECK LIST for ONYX LOUNGE:
- Onyx Lounge, Level 1, 324 King Street, Newtown 2042, Sydney, Australia
- Call 0451 541 712
- Live music on weekends
- Open 7 nights week
- Open for lunch Fri, Sat and Sun from midday
- The 6-metre long bar has an extensive cocktail and drinks list to match
- Share plates, burgers, pizza, sliders, salads and desserts.