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  • Chloe Grabham

Continental Deli Bar Bistro | Newtown


I never really liked Mortadella till a few weeks ago. Maybe it was because it wasn’t your usual wrapped-in-plastic-not-so-fantastic crap off the supermarket she;f, or maybe it was because of my second Mar-Tinny was just kicking in. Who cares, it was amazing.

Being able to create an experience that transports a diner back to a time of charming old world cosmopolitan delis, without the aid of a time machine or DeLorean takes a heck of a lot of skill and a sharp eye for details. But anyone who is familiar with the Sydney dining scene, knows the hospitality pizazz of Elvis Abrahanowicz, Joe Valore, Jesse Warkentin and Michael Nicolian. They have the knack for transforming the ordinary into a wonderland, making dining all about having a good time.


To start with, the Newtown scene is every bit fitting for this rustic, retro bistro of treats. It takes on the laid-back and diverse culture that puts this Inner-West suburb on the map. Amid the influx of burgers, freak shakes and fusion infused menu’s that have spread like an epidemic through Sydney’s dining scene, Continental Deli Bar Bistro is not a victim of peer pressure and steers clear of the trend treadmill.

The crew really do transport you back to a time and place where classic dining and attentive service were the norm. The dining area is established in the upstairs of an old terrace house, with original features still in-tact like the high ceilings and fireplaces, that can’t help but make you wonder “if only these walls could talk”. While it might be all party upstairs, downstairs you will find the bustling bar, the signature deli and a jiving kitchen.


Dishes are refined old school flavours for the palate of today. Start with a cracker of calamari rings that’s are fresh and tender, served with nduja, crunchy chickpeas and Cima di rapa, an Italian style broccoli.


With such a focus on traditional, meat inspired dishes, the menu would not be complete without a classic steak tartare. Presented in an elegant compact enticing mound, the finely diced pieces of beef are given an injection of flavour with a feathering of parmesan and the crunch of gaufrette potatoes, (aka wafers of pure fan-frying fantasticness).


The inner carnivore will find their happy place with the charcuterie menu where the likes of jarmon iberico, LP’s Bierwurst and mortadella hang out. Complete the experience with a few slices from the cheese selection, in particular, the 9mnth French Comte, it does not disappoint.


It’s not all cured cuts and cheese slices. The duck breast is elegantly married to a flavour combination of earthy hazelnuts, sweet corn and salty feta, not a pairing you see every day but somehow it works wonderfully.


Sweet things come in the shape of rebooted favourites like rum baba and the indulgent crème brulee, however if you would prefer to swap your mousse for manchego, the Continental Cheese plate is the way to go

Continental Deli Bar Bistro is where you pull up a bar stool, kick back a tinny, graze on too much serrano and immediately feel the need to do it all over again. Dine solo, dine on date night, dine as a family feast, just make sure you add this one on your ‘to dine’ list.

210 Australia St, Newtown NSW 2042

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