Despite my 'Mexican food' label for this post, Newmarket describe themselves as a 'Southern Californian' style restaurant. Southern Californian is meant to be a lighter, more sophisticated take on Mexican food using lots of fresh herbs in place of the fatty cheese and cream used in traditional Mexican food.
Newmarket is the first Southern Californian restaurant I've ever tried, so I can't really judge their authenticity. But my taste buds were definitely satisfied (yet again) in my latest visit to this restaurant.
The atmosphere at Newmarket is cool and young; a great place for Friday night drink & nibbles with a group of friends. It is great food for sharing. Here is what the 4 of us ordered over a few drinks:
Con carne taco ($16) - 2 serves shown
Bone marrow taco ($16) - 2 serves shown
The tacos are small, but very filling. I loved how much fresh herbs were added to each taco. Bone marrow was covered in cimichurri (herb paste) and served with ranchero-style brisket. Beef cheek chilli (con carne) tacos were bursting with flavour. The special taco of the day - fried barramundi was a bit of a disappointment. It was fresh and light, but lacked the burst of flavour the other tacos had.
Fish taco ($16) - 2 serves shown
Ham coca ($22)
One of the star dishes that night was the coca (wood fired Catalan flatbread). The house made bread was soft and steamy when it came to the table. The coca was a great example of a very well executed simple dish, made with top quality ingredients - serrano ham, pear, gorgonzola, basil and quince paste. It would have never occurred to me to mix these ingredients together, but it worked perfectly.
Special taco of the day - barramundi
Bbq corn ($9)
We went for something more substantial after the tacos and chose the roast of the day, barbecued pork served with collard greens, sweet potatoes, slaw & hot cider vinegar sauce. I thought the serving was on the small side, it was a bit hard to share that one. The tangy slaw complemented the pork well.
Roast of the day ($38)
The side quinoa salad was spot on. Quinoa, broad bean, pecorino & mint worked really well together and provided a tasty and healthy addition to our meal. It was quite a substantial serve for a side dish, specially if compared to the smallish main we got.
Quinoa salad ($9)
As for the drinks menu, Newmarket offers a comprehensive list of wine, beers and cocktails. They have a few options of wine by the glass and I liked the very casual presentation for my wine glass. They do also have more serious crystal glassware for the expensive bottles.
We paid about $70 a head at the end of the night, which I thought was pretty reasonable given the amount of food we got to try + a couple of drinks each of us had. The menu is definitely meant to be shared and the drinks list is tailored for a big night out. My advice is to leave your car at home and enjoy!