Old CIty Newtown restaurant bar

Dinner at Old City is an old Newtown must

With a name like ‘Old City‘, the restaurant in Newtown conjures up images in your mind of deliberately dilapidated interiors with olde worlde fittings and furnishings to really add that comfort factor.

Though, that’s not the case.

Instead, they keep the interior quite functional, allowing nothing more than the suspended maze of corded light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and the food they pump out of the kitchen to do the talking. And it speaks pretty loudly.

Old City does Mediterranean fare with an easy overtone of unpretentiousness that means anyone is welcome, from the yet-to-try diners to the Mediterraneans themselves. No one leaves disappointed.

Their staple? Haloumi, but unlike any you’ve tried before.

It’s a hand-made, trucked-in-from-Melbourne cheese from the backyard factory of some old yiayia in Melbourne’s Oakleigh that is melt-in-your-mouth soft and buttery, pretty as a picture and pairs delightfully with a simple red grape. Talk about a combination. It’s the kind of dish you finish – with friend, of course – and immediately want more of.

Fast-forward to the mains and you’re looking at traditional Mediterranean classics done super easily. Dishes of braised 3-hour cooked octopus, tossed in cherry tomatoes, Spanish onion, olives, roquette, basil, dressed in a sweet chilli balsamic. It’s a dark-looking dish that has some of the lightest and freshest flavours on the menu, so it’s a must.

Couple your little octopi with a 6-hour slow cooked lamb shoulder marinated in their secret Old City sauce, pulled from the bone and served on a sizzling hot plate with a side of minted yoghurt, you’ve got a winning dinner for a table of two and up.

Slow cooked lamb Old City Newtown

Old City can be found at 189 Missenden Rd., Newtown.

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