Bloodwood Restaurant and Bar
416 King Street, Newtown
02 9557 7699
When it opened in 2010, Bloodwood Restaurant and Bar was at the forefront of King Street, Newtown's change from a mainly cheap eats street to a quality food destination.
Today, Bloodwood thrives in the midst of an area booming with new bars and restaurants that people come from all over Sydney to visit.
Owned and operated by head chefs, Mitch Grady and Claire van Vuuren, Bloodwood is a product of the love they have for quality food and drink as well as years of experience in the industry. Both Claire and Mitch were working at Claude’s restaurant in Woollahra – a 3-hatted establishment at the time – when they spotted a gap in the market for quality food in the Inner West, where they were both living. Claude’s was everything that Bloodwood is not: white tablecloths, the food was small and perfectly plated, the chefs were never seen by the customers, and entry was via booking and doorbell only.
By contrast, Bloodwood’s kitchen is open and treated as the heart and soul of the restaurant, with the chefs able to meet and greet customers as they walk past. The décor is industrial and urban with an emphasis on recycled and reclaimed materials, typical of designer Matt Woods’ modern style. It couldn’t be more different from the vibe at Claude’s, and does it work? You bet.
“Our aim with Bloodwood was to create a local restaurant that people could frequent many times a week,” said Mitch and Claire. And do they feel they’ve succeeded? “Certainly!”
Blown away by the positive response to Bloodwood, they even hinted that a new venture may be on the cards. “Let’s just say that we have learnt a great deal over the past five years. One lesson is that dedication to consistent, quality food and flavours will get you a long way.”
The front of house is managed by Sommelier, Eric Morris, who is also in charge of the drinks selection and recently helped Bloodwood bring home the award of ‘Best Drinks List’ in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015. His selection of quality spirits, beer and wine is well thought out with a balance between familiar favourites and exciting new drops a little outside the usual. The drinks on offer range from craft beers from Young Henry’s Brewery just a few blocks away, to sumptuous Italian red wines, to house-barrelled spirits that add a kick to some excellent cocktails. Try the ‘Barrel Aged Martinez’ – West Winds Gin, Dolin Better Vermouth, and Maraschino aged to perfection in Bloodwood’s own port barrel.
The menu, too, is carefully crafted and seasonal, making use of local ingredients wherever possible. “We always prefer to use the little guy over big suppliers,” said Mitch and Claire. The dishes on offer change with the seasons, but the grilled miso cuttlefish with pickled eggplant, broccoli and cauliflower is a crowd favourite that’s packed with flavour.
It’s certainly worth checking out, and as Mitch and Claire put it, people know they can come to Bloodwood alone with a book for a glass of wine, or they can come with twenty friends for a banquet and stay the entire night. What are you waiting for?