This fried chicken brings America’s deep south to Sydney’s Newtown among
its eclectic mix of graffiti, pink hair, gothic eyes, nose rings and tongue studs.
For a few years now, Newtown restaurants resolute with their food are carving a loyal following among serious food lovers.
Oscillate Wildly and Bloodwood are a handful that have distinguished themselves from the litany of casual Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean dotted along King street.
The husband and wife team of Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart has opened Hartsyard for more than three years and it has taken Mysaucepan and I just that long to get here. The Monk has decided to join us for dinner too.
In that time, Hartsyard‘s fried chicken and oysters po’ boy have become almost as famous as the notoriously long wait for a table if you choose to just walk in.
I love the bold and jammy flavours of unfiltered pinots from Western Australia, one being the Salitage unfiltered pinot noir from Pemberton in the Great Southern.
A 2014 L.A.S. Vino Albino from Margaret River is floral with hints of strawberries on the nose. The sediments have a chalky, earthy mushroom flavour that lingers beautifully long. I am no wine snob for I will gladly down every last drop of sediment from good wines and this is definitely one of them.
Oyster po’ boy
Oyster po’boy gets full marks for creativity.
Three English muffins are crisp and heartily filled with battered Tassie Pacific oysters and mayo coleslaw. It’s classy dude food because a crunchy and oyster creamy mouthful goes better with the complexity of an aged and oaky chardonnay than beer with a plain old hamburger.
It’s a well-known fact George Bush Snr does not like broccoli.
Perhaps the White House has never cooked broccoli roasted with walnut butter, lemon and mustard oil topped with generous clumps of aged gouda.
Over the last few years, I have read how Hartsyard has been waltzing into the hearts of Sydney’s fried chicken lovers.
The chicken is brined, marinated, floured, then deep fried to crunchy goodness. Unless it’s creamy mashed potato gravy, I’m not big on dipping fried chook into low country gravy with small chunks of sausage and a buttermilk biscuit that has become soggy.
I prefer these golden brown pieces of succulent fried chicken minus the low country gravy.
Topped with pickled peppers, mustard BBQ lamb ribs are beautifully charred with a deep smoky aroma.
The caramelization adds crustiness, the lean meat falling apart in succulents strands with flavourful layers of fat in between.
It’s a busy Saturday evening and bar dining in trendy Sydney restaurants seems destined to stay.
It feels convivial with a sense of excitement dining among strangers at the same table as long as your mood is up for it.
Ask for the flavour of the day for we finish our meal with a HY chocolate and mint soft serve.
Could there be a bit of mutual exclusivity here?
I did not notice spiky pink or green hair, gothic eyes, nose ring, tongue studs or death cult tattoos in the dining room tonight and the food is pretty decent too.
So dear readers, if you must, would you choose spiky green or pink hair?
33 Enmore road
Newtown, New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 8068 1473
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 5.30pm till late, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.