Bad luck follows me wherever I go. There is always something that I am missing out on or something that I have overlooked. One rainy evening, Pizzaboy and I make our way to Newtown to try the newly opened and uber-trendy Bloodwood, only to find the windows shut and lights turned off. It is closed on Tuesdays… bummer.
We walk along King St, glum faced and with no idea what to have for dinner. We walked past Twelve a couple of times before deciding on dining here. It was really our hunger that made the final decision.
After being shown to our tables and looking over the menu I take a closer look at the restaurant and notice it is tasteful but haphazardly decorated. It’s retro-italian, Lygon St, high school mural, arty, home furnishing shop, organic cafe style that somehow meshes together well.
The restaurant is empty when we sit down. By the time we leave, it is buzzing and almost at capacity. Our waitress for the evening is new to the job and we are her first customers. It hindered my usual method of ordering (I always ask what are their popular dishes and what they recommend). We order quickly and cross our fingers.
The antipasto platter arrives quicker than expected. It is beautifully plated and looks scrumptious. The foccacia bread is slightly stale, it may have been toasted in advance. The buffalo mozzarella is smooth, glossy and porcelain white. It tasted lovely with the sharp tomato sauce and bitter rocket leaves. Pizzaboy wasn’t very fond of it and left it for me to enjoy. The proscuitto is pleasantly salty and paired with some of the buffalo mozzarella it is lovely. The grilled vegetables consisted of zucchini, eggplant and artichoke. They seem to have been mixed with the same sauce that appears with the buffalo mozzarella. I really like it and I am disappointed when it is finished.
The pork belly arrives and it smells amazing. The skin looks super crunchy and I dig into it with gusto. It turns out the skin is rock hard and it takes a stabbing with my knife to break it. When I manage to get it into my mouth it miraculosuly doesn’t shatter my teeth but gives my ear drums a much loved *kerrr-unch* There is a huge gelatinous layer of fat and after a few bites it becomes too much. I end up leaving some wobbly bits at the corner of my dish.
The garlic potato puree is luscious and creamy. I do not taste a dash of garlic. Pizzaboy tries his best to distract me to steal a bite of them, but I am too clever to fall for it. I didn’t think I would like the whiskey grapes but I find them sweet and plump. I am totally fascinated by them throughout the entire time they lasted on my plate.
Pizzaboy attacks his crispy skinned ocean trout like he hasn’t eaten in years. The skin is thin and crunchy. The flesh is moist and breaks away with a nudging of the fork. The tomato sauce appears again and Pizzaboy is overjoyed. He smooches all the vegetables with the sauce and devours it with unabashed pleasure.
Pizzaboy claims that he is stuffed and refuses to look at the dessert menu. I, on the other hand, have a bottomless stomach and choose the Apple & Rhubarb Crumble.
Although I polish off the entire dessert I found it to be average. I am going to be quite bold and say… I make a better one.
This is a lovely place. None of the meals really excited me. I might come back again another time and try some other things. There was a fantastic smell of butter, garlic and pasta coming from the kitchen. I am curious as to what it could be O_o. However, with so many great options in Newtown, I don’t think the next visit will be anytime soon.
218 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
Phone: 02 9519 9412
chocolatesuzeMay 7, 2010 at 11:46 am
the pork belly looks so awesome! and aw i want your crumble
Mark @ Cafe CampanaMay 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm
That pork belly looks really good, pity it was rock hard.
joey@FoodiePopMay 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm
Alas, I’ve had some chewy crackling in my time too. I’m sure it doesn’t do my teeth any good ….
tasteofbeirutMay 8, 2010 at 5:37 am
I have never had pork belly; I am missing a lot?
FFichibanMay 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm
Pork Bellyy!!! Can never have too much gelatinous fat though 😛 hee hee
BarbaraMay 9, 2010 at 12:40 am
Pork belly seems to be the “in” meat right now. It’s on all the menus. I had it for the first time in Miami a couple months ago and it was delicious! Sorry yours at Twelve did not meet expectations. I’ve never made it, but am tempted.
The potatoes DO look heavenly.
RosaMay 9, 2010 at 8:10 am
The food doesn’t look bad… A pity none of the dishes excited you.
foodwinkMay 9, 2010 at 10:34 am
I understand what you mean. There are plenty of restaurants that serve good food in Sydney. But unless you’ve had a great experience, the I’d-rather-try-a-new-restaurant attitude kicks in. Also, when you have a food blog, you just can’t go back to the same restaurant again and again …
ElinaMay 9, 2010 at 11:42 am
It sounded quite lovely. Maybe not the best you’ve had but still sounds like a great dinner… especially unplanned. 🙂
AmeenaMay 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm
What beautiful pictures! I have never been to Sydney but I imagine the food there must be pretty amazing so I am surprised that you weren’t too happy with this place. Don’t you hate that??
Your dessert looks like it was out of this world though, makes me want some cobbler!
Ellie (Almost Bourdain)May 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm
Pork belly looks awesome. Too bad it didn’t taste as good as it looks.
sweetlifeMay 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm
sorry the food disappointed you, that depresses me when i go somewhere and think, I could have made this at home “better” and been in my comfy pants..haha great post
Conor @ HoldtheBeefMay 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm
Looks like they know how to crispy up some skin! I think if I were to break my teeth on that pork belly, my teeth would die happy.
Lorraine @ Not Quite NigellaMay 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm
Sounds like that crackling was almost dangerous! 😮
lisaMay 10, 2010 at 2:46 am
Such a bummer when the food isn’t as exciting as you had hoped. The crumble does look good, though…
graceMay 10, 2010 at 7:33 am
you’re a gal after my own heart–ordering dessert even while stuffed to the brim AND finishing it off even though it wasn’t amazing. 🙂
OohLookBelMay 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm
I was in Newtown on the weekend. I must really start remembering all these great places to eat there – this one seems alright, as it should with garlic and butter aromas, haha! 😀
peachkinsMay 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm
eveything looks great!
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
VonMay 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm
I’ve never been to Newtown before- it sounds like a really interesting place =] The pork belly looks so good…..
Heavenly HousewifeMay 12, 2010 at 3:11 am
Looks like a fun place, sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations. Still, you only find a prince by kissing a lot of frogs lol 🙂
john@heneedsfoodMay 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm
I’ve only ever eaten here once and it was sadly not that great. I had a seafood risotto that was so flavourless I had to smother it with copious amounts of salt … and I rarely put salt on my food