In one of my recent posts I mentioned one new venue that we opened recently, but we actually have another new baby – yes, that’s right, we opened two new venues within two weeks of each other (phew)! Sweethearts BBQ is located on the rooftop of the Sugarmill building in Kings Cross, which also houses Kit & Kaboodle nightclub… and I like it so much that I’ve been back 5 times in the last 4 weeks!
Think sunshine (although there’s a retractable roof too for when it rains), beers, ciders, cocktail pitchers and shandies. Did your aunties drink shandies too? The food is fresh as can be, and perhaps a little fancier than your regular family BBQ – definitely no burnt snags here! I think this will turn into the perfect place to spend summer evenings and catch up with friends over a few drinks and delicious food to share. I love the super relaxed vibe and tick box menus.
In the name of research, we tried all the cocktail pitchers and I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite. The Hills Hoist above is definitely a crowd pleaser and perfect for sharing with the girls containing watermelon, apple, lemon, mint, gin and soda. But I also really liked the Mango Tree that mixed up mango liqueur, pineapple, rum, ginger ale and lemon. The tap cider (James Squire I believe) is also great, and they also offer a Spiked Cider Slushie that might just become my drink of the summer.
Onto the food! We started with some barbecued turkish and olive bread (similar to how my Dad does it for our family BBQ’s) and the thickest, fluffiest chips with a homemade tomato sauce that I think had a hint of Dijon mustard in it. I love when the potato skins are left on chips, so of course these were a favourite. I recommend adding Truffle Salt for $1 extra.
After that, the starters started coming out fast. I was looking forward to trying the soy-braised brisket and beetroot burgers, although I was expecting it to be a full size sandwich. However mini size was probably for the best considering how much food there was! As a general rule, I will love anything containing brisket, and these were no exception – the tender beef was delicious with the beetroot relish.
Sweethearts potato salad was a blast from the past, with bits of crispy bacon and sweet corn kernels, it reminded me of family BBQ’s when I was younger. Not to mention that it was served on a plate that looks like something my Nanna would own! I liked the little bit of heat that the green chillies brought to this version.
A surprise favourite of mine also from the ‘Rabbit Food’ category was the Grilled Watermelon with feta, mint and pita chips. A sort of unusual combination to be sure, but wow, it works so well and is definitely a must order when you visit!
I don’t have any photos of them but a recent favourite dish has been the Skewers. On offer are chicken, beef, pork, salmon belly and veggie with your choice of condiment, so there are endless combinations for deliciousness. I love the chilli caramel with the pork, the chimmichurri with the chicken, and the truffle salt with the salmon.
Another standout was the Glazed Pork Belly. Just look at that crispy skin! It was beautifully cooked and served with a salad of sweet and sour slaw, chilli, pear and sesame. Suze, this one’s for you!
Promise me you’ll try the ribs when you visit. It’s a little more unusual to see lamb ribs on a restaurant menu, but when they’re done perfectly like this, it’s a welcome surprise. I’ve never seen ribs that fall off the bones like these do, and the honey, chilli, coriander and lime sauce is absolutely delicious.
As stuffed as I was, I couldn’t rightly turn down bone marrow butter now, could I? I’ve wanted to try this since I was designing the menus! We requested our Black Angus Sirloin very rare and it was served perfectly pink. Once the butter started to melt into the meat, it was absolutely incredible. I also liked the selection of mustards that accompanied it, but who are we kidding, it was all about the butter.
What’s an Aussie BBQ without the classic Aussie dessert – pavlova! Sweethearts’ version is a Smashed Pav with summer berries and cream with flecks of vanilla bean throughout and it’s absolutely freaking delicious. Also on the dessert menu is a delicious grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet, and a selection of house made choc tops and cornetto ice creams!
I have to say it’s very interesting being involved in the early stages of opening a venue, from the first mood boards to menu designs to finally seeing it all come together and open. I loved the food, the decor, the lovely staff, the casual atmosphere, touches of nostalgia coming through in the retro coasters and plates, and even the old school hip hop music playing. I think this will definitely become one of my regular haunts over the summer months!
Sweethearts BBQ, 37 Darlinghurst Rd Kings Cross (02) 9368 7333
Spicyicecream dined as a guest of Sweethearts BBQ.