No, I am not talking about Barack Obama's humble abode. I am talking about UNSW's smart, modern and schick renovation of one of its oldest buildings into the university's newly crowned resident watering hole. And boy am I glad for that.
Far flung from its unruly older brother: the beer soaked carpets of the lower campus Roundhouse, the White House certainly brings an otherworldly retro charm to an otherwise dull UNSW palette of buildings. With pop art and pulp fiction slung on its walls, the decor juxtaposes nicely to its rustic, wooden infrastructure, creating a sultry, dimly lit ambience with a nice chill out feel downstairs, and a lively neo-noir feel upstairs. Situated right at top of the UNSW Village, my university mates and I are drawn in by the sounds of live jazz in the floorboards above.
Hungry and famished from a windy trek, we order 'Dolph' and 'Johnson' pizzas (around $10 for a small to medium sized pizza) and an 'East Indian Tropical Punch' punch bowl (priced at $22). What comes out looks like a rather generously sized conical fish bowl. We are handed a ladle, four small empty jam jars and a handful of straws to down our punch. Although a tad sweet for my liking, the girls in the group are giving off saccharine smiles which seem to match the gimmicky quirkiness of our predicament.
Moving on to the pizzas, they certainly seem like a hit with the university crowd. They are both crisp and straight to the point with their sharp selection of toppings. In the 'Johnson' pizza especially, I am able to fully appreciate the light saltiness of the proscuitto in the context of a clean, palatable backdrop of leafy light vegetables atop the cheesy base.
The White House certainly exudes a humble atmospheric charm hinting at a past that may have been more glamorous and carefree for university goers. If you are looking an alternative and unique option to sit back and enjoy a good evening wind down with friends in the Randwick/Kensington/Kingsford area, this is the place to be. Although this may not be the most bang for your buck kind of dwelling that the poor university collegian may hope for, the atmosphere and wit is definitely worth the medium priced wine and dine for a sense of class.
Rating: Four out of five pinkies wangling in the air whilst sipping on my martini.
P.S. The White House certainly welcomes folks outside the walls of the university.