We forgot about the smokers. Easy to do nowadays, I’ll admit. There we were in our nice warm little bubble, getting on with our nice little quest, entirely ignoring the desperate need addicts of the filthy weed have for outdoor eating and drinking spaces.
We have walked past Urban Bites many a time and thought “How nice, an airy, sheltered, outdoor eating apparatus right on King Street, full of nice young people being happy and content.” Well yes, that’s because they have found the only such venue in Newtown, and are busy smoking their blackened and mis-shapen lungs out. No wonder they look happy.
We didn’t look so happy as we sat down in the courtyard, our nostrils spasming and trying to turn themselves inside out. Finally, the awful truth filtered through our age-thickened wits: this place is a smoker’s paradise, good food, cheap drinks and full ashtrays. Lots of room to smoke, right on King Street.
Luckily we have a magic ability to seriously raise the average age in any space we occupy on King Street, and just as we were contemplating a move to the much less desirable internal tables, it kicked in. Our secret power drove the young smokers away from the tables immediately adjacent to ours, leaving a nicotine-free vortex, suitable for aged non-smokers. Able to breathe again we relaxed, ordered beer, and wine, and began to size up the menu.
It’s pub food basically. Grills and spills, Greek and Italian influence, and cheap drinks. The students and the local smokers love it. And why not? The food is good, we had crispy calamari, tender souvlaki, generous salads, and $5 beers and wines. If the service hadn’t got slower and slower as the place filled up with O-Week enhanced students, we would have tried the pancakes as well. This is relaxed Aussie-alfresco dining, low prices and a menu that doesn’t challenge the sensibilities of students away from home for the first time. It delivers what it promises.
Having a courtyard opening directly onto the street means that you can see the passers-by, and they can see you. It is very sociable, so as the night deepened there were lots of shouted greetings and invitations to join the expanding tables of young people.
As we waited for our bill to arrive we contemplated the impending visitation from our English friends, and whether we need to manipulate the pace or the order of the quest to avoid inflicting some of the King Street lowlights on them. In the end we decided that we weren’t that clever, especially as there is a Japanese Restaurant looming that we can’t tell if it is open or closed, so the Davos will have to take their chances with the rest of us.
Number 74 King Street is next, Chedi Thai. Will item number 37 be revisited?