An inexpensive new bar and eatery has opened in Newtown. Gurdys is here for everyone.
Newtown’s King Street is a metropolis for foodies. Diverse cultures, cuisines and dietary requirements, nothing is off limits in the Inner West’s most beloved hangout. Gurdys is hoping to appeal to this eclectic mix of hipster goodness with a funky decor and dishes to match. Opening earlier this winter, Gurdys husband and wife team, Brett and Clare Davis, wanted to create a “home away from home” for locals and Newtown novices who hunger for delicious share plates.
On a Tuesday night, King Street’s flickering neon lights and going-nowhere traffic provide the soundtrack for our quirky first impression of Gurdys. Walking into the bar, we are greeted by Brett pouring kooky but cool twists on cocktail classics. We take our seat at a high bar table and soon notice an intriguing ornament hanging above us. Like a scene out of Wonderland, the recycled timber window frames line the roof, and prepare us for the inventive bar food experience. The unconventionality of Gurdys is a successful string in its well-crafted arrow.
Searching for more decor surprises, we order our first round of house-made cocktails. Pining for warmth on a chilly winters night, we order the inexpensive Hot Buttered Rum ($12) to share. The Sailor Jerry is a buttery blend of goodness; made more enjoyable by the vanilla cloves we encounter as we sip on the brew.
Keen to try something a little sweeter, we also choose to be a pretty in pink with the Solemo Sorato ($17). A vegan friendly option, the blood orange liquor is served in a vintage tumbler and spruced with cranberry juice and cloudy apple. It comes as a sweetening cleanser of our palates before we commence our tasty share dish adventure.
Taking a recommendation from the bouncy wait staff we begin with the shallots and ginger arancini ($12). Three pristine puffs of crispy salivation soon arrive bathing in a salty sauce that is delicious on its own, but majestic with the fresher than fresh rice balls.
Taking inspiration from your local Thai restaurant, next we share in the love of mushroom cigars ($12). Balancing on one another we pick apart the mushroom steeple. Like the arancini balls, the mushrooms are bountifully fresh, but we are left underwhelmed by the dry filling inside the thick pastry. Whisked to the side, the purpose of the soothing whipped goats cheese cream is evident when married to the vegetable stuffing.
Two dishes down, it’s high time to celebrate with two more cocktails. Lusting for summer, the tall glass of Vanilla Passion ($17) cools us down. A tropical mix of vodka, passionfruit and vanilla, we are transcended to the beach. The large glass is fitting for our long visit.
Despite the fragrant vibrancy of the Vanilla Passion, named after the house, the Hurdy Gurdy ($17) is the standout blend of the evening. A divinely calming concoction of beer and whiskey, the tumbler doused with Frangelico and a dash of honey is reserved but triumphant. One could easily go for multiple rounds of the eclectic twist on an Old Fashioned.
Gurdys loves a dietary requirement. Exploring veganism, we order the pan roasted vegetable salad ($14). Plodded onto a rich and creamy bed of tahini sauce, grandma would be pleased at the hearty, healthy plushness of this salad. Seared Brussel sprouts are coiled together with shards of zucchini and pops of pomegranate. The nips of roasted almond meld masterfully with the blooming salad and aromatic tahini.
From bitter tahini to citrus cured salmon ($12) Gurdys wants to excite every tastebud. Lathered with a generous offering of fennel and orange salad, the salmon is pleasantly fresh on its own. However, spreading it on top of the charred bread you will soon discover why the seafood delight is one of the bar’s most popular plates.
In the mood to conclude our evening with a sweet kick, we choose a murderous combination. The Killer XO Espresso Martini ($20) will give you the hit of caffeine you have been craving since your morning café visit. The hit of tequila is noticeable, but we have come to far to care.
Our dessert is by far the visual and flavour highlight of the night. The Oreo S’mores ($10) are delicate and delightful. Sandwiched between an Oreo crumble and biscuit, sits a caramel cream worthy of its own bowl. The flamed marshmallow resting on top is so much more than what you would receive on school camp. Individually the elements are beautiful, together the S’more is a decadent reminder of your childhood thrusted into a hip inner-city bar.
We could easily have bathed in the trendiness at Gurdys. From the bar, to the roof, to the food and drinks, nothing at this hip Newtown hangout is as it seems. Spend enough time here and you could comfortably wade through sittings of tables and plates of simple oddities. Gurdys is here and ready to surprise.
349 King St, Newtown
Open: Tues – Thurs: 4pm-late, Fri – Sat: 12pm – late, Sun 12pm – 10pm