Nutritionist & Life Coach
Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published April 14th 2013
The new Newmarket Hotel (that's not in Newmarket)
Ask an old timer to meet at you at the Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda and they may turn a whiter shade of pale. My uncle, a long-time local of the area described the venue as a "place you wouldn't come to alone" and further one where you'd "make sure you came in with a couple of large friends."
Yes back in the good old days venues like this had "character". What this translates to once the rose coloured goggles come off is the venue had a rough crowd who'd punch your head in as soon as look at you.
In more recent history one could have enjoyed the Monday night 'Schnitz and Tits' (combining the German staple of the chicken schnitzel with the universally admired upper assets of the fairer sex) and the Wednesday night 'Spag and Drag' (combining the Italian staple of pasta with the Shakespearean penchant for enjoying members of the less fairer sex dressed as the fairer sex).
St Louis style pork ribs
Belying a history of commission housing thuggery, Monday strippers and Wednesday drag queens is the now very cosmopolitan ambience of the Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda. The charming red brick exterior has been retained (a bit like the Prince Albert in Williamstown) however the interior has been completely refurbished replete with hydronic heating to warm the knees of the punter propping up the bar.
A row of Concrete arches give the place an old world feel and provide separation for the tables so the diner does not feel crowded by fellow epicures. My favourite feature however is the faux leather swivel chairs that make one feel like a 1970's Bond villain. All I needed was a white cat and a button that released the freaking sharks with the freaking "lasers".
White cat not included
The cuisine is Californian which I would previously have thought involved deep fried hamburgers for entree, a line of cocaine for main and purging or liposuction to taste for dessert. In reality the food is heavily influenced by Spanish and Mexican flavours (which should hardly be surprising given the heavy Latin influence in California over the last few centuries).
Looking at the menu can be somewhat confusing for those uninitiated in such cuisine (read me) so the clever proprietors have provided a glossary at the foot of the menu which (apparently) is based around sharing. Having been informed thus we were happy to accept an offer from our more than helpful waitress to make the selections for us.
Pit BBQ Wagyu brisket
I highly recommend taking up such an offer should you attend as the result was very pleasing and all members of our party got to try a wide variety of the delicious fare. Amazingly this was one of the rare occasions where I did not have room for dessert which speaks volumes for the quality of the vittles.
So, if last time you attended you were assaulted by IRA heavies or propositioned by an Amazonian woman named Dave, I advise taking another look at the reborn Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda.