I’m no expert on antlers but I suspect the ones hanging in The Moose, a small cocktail bar on the quieter (ie south) end of Newtown’s King Street, are fake judging from the fact they’re white and unnaturally smooth.
The friendly service here, however, seems genuine – as soon as I walk in the waitress smiles at me and exchanges small talk as I grab a seat at the front, order a Moscow Mule and wait for some friends (including Dot and her fiancé, The Man from Tamworth) to arrive.
They do so at the same time as my drink, which is good: in addition to being made with the usual vodka and ginger beer it has fresh ginger and muddled lime in it to give enough freshness and kick to make it live up to its name. However, as Dot points out, they really should have called it the Moscow Moose.
The décor here is funky in a Newtown way: there’s red wallpaper and black tiles against one wall and, considering it’s Saturday night, the overall atmosphere is relaxed and easy going, with the other seats filled with locals quietly chatting.
Dot orders a margarita that she’s happy with although, while it’s certainly decent, it doesn’t wow me when I sneak a taste. However, the lychee caipiroska that the Man from Tamworth’s friend orders is great (even though I usually prefer my drinks lychee free). I also try the French martini (vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice) while Dot grabs the Angel Street, made with Havana Club rum, maraschino liqueur, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and passionfruit. This time Dot has gotten the winner: the Angel Street is strong, flavourful and fruity without being too sweet whereas my French martini is serviceable but nothing more.
French martinis and margaritas aside, The Moose is a great addition to the area. With Bloodwood also up the road it’s good to see that south Newtown, which for so long has been devoid of any decent cocktail option, is starting to pick up.
The Moose, 530 King Street, Newtown. Phone 9557 0072 or see The Moose website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate The Moose?