On Tuesday night, Nic and I were invited along to the test kitchen for Chester Street. This new venture in Newstead is yet another side project from Damian Griffiths (Alfred & Constance, Alfredo’s, Limes Hotel). It opens to public tomorrow (9th August)! Neatly tucked away amongst local businesses, this place shines like a beacon at night. I can see it becoming a popular place amongst locals.
The cute bright blue tiles along the bar and the feature wall where there’s a wood-fire oven along with the different shades of blue and white walls make this space look casual and clean. The cute white picket fence at the front frames a wooden deck that has potted plants and herbs in amongst cute strung up light bulbs.
We chose to sit outside – it was full house and looked a little cramp inside. Outside though, it felt like we were eating dinner on someone’s porch. Perfect for a casual date night! There is a communal long table inside next to the bar which would be a nice space to have a group dinner too. An upstairs private function room looks great too.
Breakfast will have a separate menu whilst lunch and dinner will be the same menu. Lunch options include their signature sourdough bread and Roman-style pizza fresh out of their wood-fired oven – eat in and takeaway! Dinner will have a variety of small bar eats as well as a few mains. It boasts a full bar with beer (local and imported), wine and a few hand-crafted cocktails (there’s only three at this point). Cakes and desserts are available all day!
We chose to share two small bar eats, two mains and three desserts.
Braised leek & bacon croquettes ($12) was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Very tasty. I had heard a lot about the Spring Creek Mountain chips, wood roasted in duck fat with truffle salt ($12). The truffle salt was delicious, addictive and I just wanted more. I think an extra shake or two of the truffle salt would’ve been needed. The serving size was probably a little small for $12 too.
The mains ($28 each) were both delicious. The wood roasted pork belly was super tender and juicy but served with a radicchio, apple & quince salad which was a bit bitter and not sweet enough to go with the pork. The lamb loin chops were the boy’s favourite – a very generous 3 chops served with an interesting tomato, caper & black olive salsa and green beans. Both meals were generous and great value.
The desserts were definitely my favourites on the night. Each priced at $12.50 – these treats were simple and tasty. But done extremely well. The chocolate cake was dense and rich; the pastry on the tart was flaky, not stodgy like so many tarts can be. The cake was light and the toffee coated oranges were delicious. I really look forward to what their other baked goods will be like in the future!
The cocktails were simple and tasty. Nothing too complicated here which I liked.
The staff were lovely, knowledgeable and passionate about the food. It was refreshing to hear staff who were passionate about food. It’ll be interesting to see how this busy, little kitchen will go on a normal day after doing breakfast, lunch and dinner service every day.
Dining details: Tuesday 6th August. 6.30pm dinner for 2. Test kitchen trial.
Verdict: I really like this place, although heading into Newstead is a bit of a trip for me. Definitely seems like a neighbourhood gem that is great for walk-ins for a casual dinner. I predict it’ll be a local hot spot for coffee and breakfast too.
This restaurant takes the award for: being more than the eye can see – this little space has big plans with it’s simple and tasty food and drinks.
7 Days – 7.30am to 5pm
Daily from 12pm to close
Tuesday to Saturday – 5pm to 10pm
Every Sunday 10am to 5pm
32a Chester Street, Newstead
We were invited guests on behalf of Lucid Media and Chester Street.