For a little taste of everything and a much needed chill-out sesh, head up the stairs to the space above the Newtown’s former train station office and into ONYX Lounge.
Cocktail and tapas bar ONYX Lounge has a few things going for it. The first is its location – seconds from Newtown train station, and on the doorstep of its main bus stop, it’s a responsible alcoholic’s dream for getting to and from safely without the designated driver drama.
The second is its menu. Literally, it’s a little taste of everything, with share plates of cuisines originating from Greece (olives), Latin America (ceviche), Cyprus (grilled halloumi), Spain (chorizo and potato tapas), Mexico (empanadas), and even Japan (teriyaki chicken) to choose from. The price range is pretty on the mark too, ranging from $12-$14 a plate, meaning you can afford to explore more than one continent of the world in one sitting.
But if you’re feeling the call to be selfish, and hog that one, pleasant meal to yourself (don’t blame you, some nights you have to think of yourself), ONYX has that covered too, with their crowd-pleasing burger, pizza, and sliders, selections.
After flipping through the pages of menu and its various, inviting bites, we had to ask ourselves: is there anything this outfit doesn’t have?
The answer? No. Not really.
Head up the stairs into ONYX.
The vibe: Cocktail lounge cruisy.
Cuisine: Share plates, of a little bit of everything.
Ideal for: Big parties and intimate nights.
Bartender’s choice: Summer Dreams ($13.90)
Try the... ONYX Platter($26).
By the way...They have cocktail and pizza specials throughout the week. They also do champagne high teas and will be doing cocktail masterclasses in the future.
Which is the way it was bred, to be honest, in that it’s meant to have something for everybody – the cocktail list being no exception. Gazing at the large bar you could easily be overwhelmed by its array of imported and local beers, wines, ciders, mezcals, vodkas, and rums. And frozen margaritas, for those who need a little colour in their lives. But tonight, you’re not (overwhelmed, that is). Because drinks-wise, you’re ordering your personal favourite. While the cocktail list is long, there’s nothing signature about it, so you may as well please yourself and order your standard poison of choice. Which they’ll execute to a ‘t’ and present just as beautifully.
Continue into ONYX and you’ll see the lounge. Mood lighting fills the space – as does some live music on Friday evenings, which leans less towards local-up-and-coming-garage band and more toward RSL cover artist (just as a warning, if that’s not your thing).
Worthy of praise is the service, with more than one of the wait staff giving you the attentiveness you deserve. If tapas is on the cards (and it should be), we’ll twist your arm to try the prawn and fish ceviche. It comes on a crispy tortilla, which makes things a little hard to maneuver, but once you sort an attack plan out, you’ll thank us for the stand out textures it’ll play on your senses.
A larger, less decision-heavy option for share parties, is the ONYX platter. It’s a selection of Tasmanian heritage double cream brie, gorgonzola, prosciutto, Hungarian olives, toasted sour dough and quince paste that you’ll be scraping every morsel off the board with your forks and your fingers. There’s an all-cheese option, too. But if you’re NOT of the ‘v’ kind (vegan/vegetarian) there’s really no excuse to stray in that direction.
Last up: dessert. The signature is the flaming chocolate tart and berry coulis, which arrives in the most impressive state, being licked over by blue flames that fizzle out by the time you pick up your spoon for that first subtle ‘crack’. It’s not too rich, not too heavy, and strong enough on the alcohol to have us wondering, ‘Another cocktail? Who needs another cocktail?’
If a date with ONYX is on the cards, we suggest you either sit on the long expanse in the middle for a cosy night in, or by the window for a people-watching sesh over King St. When winter settles in and the rooftop bars begin to close, you’ll know where we’ll be.
Address: Level One, 324 King St, Newtown
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 5pm-late, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-late