On King Street in Newtown. 10-minute cab ride from the CBD. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Holding an unassuming position beside an overwhelming collection of cheap Asian eateries and eclectic cafes, Spencer Guthrie is an intimate restaurant that pushes the green envelope without pretension.
What was once an old Thai takeaway is now a 30-seater fine diner with a polished bar and kitchen up the front and a long narrow stretch of floor space opening into a small dining area up the back. From the table-tops to the floorboards, all the furnishings at Spencer Guthrie are recycled, with much of it sourced from iconic wharves across Sydney. There are also visual reminders of the restaurant’s eco-friendly credentials including a wall of fern green foliage and weathered plaster walls featuring textural canvasses of countryside settings.
The vibe emanating from the open kitchen is focused and assured with seasoned chefs and close mates Troy Spencer (ex L'Etoile) and Oliver Guthrie (ex Lucio's) at the helm. The Modern Australian menu is a reflection of the quite confidence of the duo with prettily plated dishes that offer a serious experience with textures and flavours. There are five entrees and five main courses which all reflect the sustainable, locavore philosophy of Spencer Guthrie. Meat is sourced from Feather and Bone and the Urban Food Market while fish such as Red Gurnard and Ocean Mullet is caught in Australian waters.
We are immediately won over by the two meat mains featuring Milly Hill lamb and Wagyu 5+ oyster blade. A glass of light biodynamic ‘Kalleske Grenache Shiraz Mataro’ from the Barossa Valley is the perfect match to the perfectly-pink and buttery texture of both meat dishes. The wine list is concise but over priced by the glass, so go for for a bottle instead. Alternatively, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are BYO, with $15 corkage per bottle.
The highlight of the evening is the ‘all things chocolate’ dessert, which in itself is a feat of textural ingenuity. A base of salted dark chocolate crumbs is topped with three cornels of white, milk and dark chocolate mousse and buttoned with cubes of dark chocolate jelly and cacao rich chocolate pieces. The only part of the evening that can rival the resplendence of dessert is the service – personalised, passionate and well-informed.
Portion sizes are petite, so don’t come expecting to satiate a ravenous appetite. But if you’re after a meal where quality is of the essence, then Spencer Guthrie gets the green thumb of approval.