“Tastes of California with a wink to the south,
Market produce that teases the mouth.
Cold beer from the tap and wine from the barrel,
Cocktail pitchers with all the apparel.
Sizzle on vinyl and on the grill,
Come entertain Newmarket goodwill.”
Recently refurbished, revamped and reopened, the new Newmarket hotel brings some South American spice to St Kilda. The hotel is the brainchild of the group behind popular Melbourne venues the Royal Saxon and the Albert Park and Middle Park Hotels. Far from the ‘up-market pub’ vibe of these hotels Newmarket’s Latin inspiration is a clever and well-executed niche.
The menu is busy with lots of great food to choose from, so much so that I know a second visit will be on the cards very soon. It features Latin street food such as guacamole with native lime salsa fresca, taro and tortilla chips, and soft tacos with duck tinga and spicy plum mole. Worth trying also are the wood fired Catalan flatbreads including chipotle prawn, sweet potato, jalapeno and chorizo, and spiced lamb, pumpkin hummus, grapes and queso fresca.
Their wood BBQ meats include dry aged 100% natural pasture fed Victorian Black Angus beef which are seasoned with or without Latin spices and come with Hispanic condiment selection. Newmarket’s signature roasts are the real show stoppers but get in early to avoid disappointment as these are available on a first come, first served basis. The wood roasted goat with avocado leaves & Mexican oregano, stuffed white zucchinis with mint and pomegranate dressing is a particular highlight.
With such an extensive range of meats it’s disappointing to see only one dish in the ‘vegetarian’ section of the menu – farro and wild mushroom risotto with chestnut sauce – delicious but lonely. Though any non-meat eaters can still have a very satisfying meal by combining some entrees, street food and sides.
The space itself is light, bright and colourful, aiding the South American feel of the hotel. Newmarket is in a great part of St Kilda, just far enough out of the action to ensure a no scantily-clad drunk revelers stumble across your table.
Open Midday – 1am 7 days
34 Inkerman Street, St Kilda
Ph: 9537 1777