#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | New Year's Eve cocktail party at Ocean Room » | Images of Christmas, 2007 » | Wishing you festive feasting » | Last day for Menu for Hope » | Madono, Haymarket Chinatown Sydney » | Behind the scenes with Australian Gourmet Travelle... » | Final prizes added to Menu for Hope » | More Menu for Hope prizes added » | Grab Your Fork nominated for Best Food Blog - City » | New prizes for Menu for Hope »

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Carlisle Castle Bistro, Newtown

Tucked down the backstreets of Newtown, the Carlisle Castle isn't known to many, but is dear to the hearts of locals, who appreciate its low-key unadorned charm ahead of the trendier pubs on the main drag. The enormous marble bar in the front, transported from Italy in the early 1900s, is quietly impressive, but the overall mood is unashamedly casual with patrons largely made up of students, labourers and (in the bistro) young local families.

Chicken and avocado burger $13.50
with lime aioli and chips

We were reasonably keen to eat at the bistro after hearing that Ross Godfrey, owner of Oscillate Wildly and The Codfather, had recently taken the reins. Truth be told, we didn't find any significantly alluring dishes on the menu although I was impressed to see the chef in the kitchen attacking a huge side of fresh tuna--a gorgeous crimson colour--slicing it into thick steaks for the Special of the Day tuna nicoise salad.

The Cricketer gives two big thumbs up to the chicken and avocado burger which arrives with a huge mound of chips. The chicken is, shock horror, real chicken fillet, juicy seared chunks with tantalising grill markings. There's a delicate fan of avocado and even a slice of dinkum Aussie beetroot.

Roasted pork belly and crispy noodles $19.50
on Asian green salad with light soy, ginger and sesame seed oil

I had a feeling that the Punter would pick the roasted pork belly. The dish arrives nothing like I imagined (I was expecting Chinese style roast pork with crackling and a bed of deep-fried thick wheat noodles) but the Punter is happy.

Beer battered flathead with salad, tartare sauce and lemon $15.00

I opt for the beer battered flathead, forgoing the usual chips for a compromise of salad. The batter isn't as light as I'd hoped, but I'm impressed by the freshness of the fish, which is firm and sweet with a few tell-tale bones.

So the Carlisle Castle hasn't gone all upmarket with menu trickery, but seems to be continuing its focus on pub grub using honest quality produce. And that sound is all its regular patrons giving a huge sigh of relief.

Carlisle Castle Bistro
19 Albermarle St, Newtown, Sydney
(off Australia Street, near corner of Chelmsford Street)
Tel: +61 (02) 9557 4852

Thursday to Saturday 12pm-3pm
Sunday 12pm-4pm

Monday to Saturday 6pm-9.30pm
Sunday 6pm-8.30pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Bank Hotel Bar Snacks, Newtown
Bank Hotel Sumalee Thai, Newtown

Newtown - Corelli's Cafe
Newtown--Gourmet Viking
Newtown--Guzman y Gomez
Newtown--Oscillate Wildly (Feb 06)
Newtown--Oscillate Wildly (Oct 05)
Newtown--Oscillate Wildly (Jan 05)
Newtown--Rowda Ya Habibi (Mar07)
Newtown--Rowda Ya Habibi (Jul04)
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/03/2008 11:59:00 pm


  • At 1/04/2008 12:17 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    great timing. i tried this place a couple of weeks ago after having it on my hit list from reading about it in Good Living. my steak was good and my friend had the crispy pork belly which i liked but he did find it a bit too salty. perhaps a bit heavy handed on the soy sauce.

    checking out Coopers Arms Hotel tonight for their Soft Shell Crab salad which i've heard good things about.

    simon :-)

    ps. i'm totally food jealous about your new years eve at ocean room. the food looked sensational.

  • At 1/06/2008 7:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love the chicken with avocado.. ;)

  • At 1/07/2008 4:42 pm, Blogger felixexplody said…

    I was a little disappointed with the Carlisle Bistro when I visited for lunch, being a big fan of Oscillate and The Codfather (as well as delicious pub food!). I think I may have hyped it up in my mind too much!

    My fave Newtown pub meal is at the Coopers (the outdoor space upstairs is a nice place for a weekend session!). The soft shell crab salad is indeed awesome, and the Coopers burger on the bar menu is probably the tastiest pub burger I've had.

  • At 1/07/2008 6:27 pm, Blogger Y said…

    I love the picture of the burger. Those bun lips look like they're about to devour the chips!

  • At 1/07/2008 11:11 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - We were here a few weeks before Christmas and yes, GL gave me extra impetus. I did find the pork belly quite salty too.

    We had a bit of a pub crawl afterward that included a stop at the Coopers. I did notice the soft shell crab salad. How was it? The menu there is huge!

    And yep, I'm still dreaming of salmoe roe...

    Hi crunchasaurus rex - The chicken burger looked great. One of the best I've seen. And btw, I love your handle!

    Hi the baker & the curry maker - Ahh I did some investigating and guess what? Maps.google is wrong! It should be spelt Albermarle, and yes it is off Australia Street.

    Hi Felicity - Mmm... I think I might have to head to Coopers...

    Hi Y - lol. They do indeed!

  • At 1/10/2008 1:29 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks great - just round the corner from us so we'll have to give it a go - when we're back from the UK!

  • At 1/11/2008 9:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen, I have been reading your blog now for a very very long time - and alas... this is the first time I have written to you! I just wanted to say thank you so much for 'grab your fork'. I relish each and every entry. You were one of the first things I read at my computer on returning back to work this week.... yes, a very productive use of my time! So keep eating - as my dining adventures ( esp in Haymarket) often follow your blog!

  • At 1/12/2008 4:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jax - Happy pub crawling :) Are you also a fan of The Courthouse? The outdoor area is lovely (and so much nicer than the front bar area!)

    Hi tabouli - Why hello, and thanks so much for your first ever comment! I'm so glad to hear you enjoy the site. Do feel free to add your own 2c worth any time, and please let me know of any dining secrets you'd love to share :)

  • At 1/15/2008 5:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the soft shell crab at coopers arms was quite nice but wish it was on a bed of green papaya rather than the crispy noodles. they were going for more look and height rather than substance i think. the crab itself was good when you find it.

    s :-)

  • At 1/19/2008 6:40 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - Ooh a bit of green papaya would be a nice foil to the crab methinks. Thanks for the update. Will have to check it out :)


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts