What is a “bach”? And how do you pronounce it? It’s pronounced “batches” and a bach is a modest holiday home in New Zealand. And executive chef Darrien Potaka and his crew serve exactly the kind of food you’d like to eat on holiday – fresh, pared-back yet interesting and cooked by someone else.
“I don’t want our place to be pretentious,” says Potaka, who used to be the executive chef at Bistro Moncur. With the paint-speckled exposed concrete walls, the hats and towels hanging from coat hooks and a menu designed to share, eating here feels a little like dropping in to a casual, last-minute family dinner.
Unsurprisingly, the menu features lots of Kiwi accents. The clams are fresh from Cloudy Bay, and there’s a New Zealand king salmon with verjuice dressing. “We try to change the menu as often as possible to keep the customer interested, because it’s a short menu,” Potaka says. But there’s also some permanent fixtures, one of which is the pappardelle with a porcini mushroom ragu and a slow-cooked egg. It’s rich and completely satisfying. Another favourite is the lamb shoulder, cooked for 16 hours and served with pumpkin puree and brussel sprouts.
The Kiwi theme carries through into the dessert and drinks options. To round off your meal, try the hokey pokey brûlée, with honeycomb chunks atop a silky custard, or the pavlova in a glass. NZ and Australian picks dominate the drinks list, with most of the wines coming from across the Tasman. NZ brewery Monteiths makes an expected appearance, its Golden Lager sharing tap space with Rocks Hangman Pale Ale.
The Bach was originally going to be in Bronte. But then plans fell through and Newtown was chosen. And even though beachside might seem a more logical location for this eatery, the inner west is all the better for it.
The Bach Eatery
399 King Street, Newtown
(02) 8084 4093
Wed to Fri 5.30pm–10.30pm
Sat & Sun 12pm–10.30pm