It’s a good time to be in and around the inner west right now. Marrickville is café central, Glebe finally has a few good bars, Stanmore is the proud owner of Sixpenny, and Newtown is kicking it up a notch with a revamped Madame Fling Flong
, old favourite Bloodwood
, and now Spencer Guthrie has joined the ranks.
There’s a certain fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants attitude at SG, which has its own kind of charm. The waiters are all super friendly and any gaps in the service department are patched over with a thick layer of enthusiasm. They don’t have their liquor license yet, so there’s the tantalising opportunity to BYO something exciting and try the likes of roasted, raw and pickled heirloom carrots with a ground coffee/chocolate crunch.
We’re hoping for a big pile of shredded bits when we order the lamb shoulder rather than the little pucks it’s served as, but still, the little meat missiles are well seasoned and the meat’s tender. It’s a shame we can’t say the same for the accompanying side of undercooked silverbeet with garlic and chilli, which should be all garlic-sweet and chilli-warm rather than hot-and-astringent. We can see where they’re heading with the dessert of chocolate cream layered with strawberry jelly, buttermilk ice cream and thick, chewy caramel crumbs – but it’s all a bit too gooey and cloying.
If you’re a Newtown local, Spencer Guthrie is worth checking out. The room’s cute, with a little open kitchen, and we could well see plenty of folks dropping by with a bottle of wine and settling in for some fun. But with two out of three dishes missing the mark, we'd think twice before revisiting.