Cheese, wine AND charcuterie lover? Us, too! Now, praise to the heavens, you can get all three, plated up in holy matrimony at The Stinking Bishops – a boutique cheesemonger-cum-cafe on Enmore Road.
It’s such a simple concept, yet here we are scratching our heads wondering why no one’s ever thought of offering it to Sydney-siders before. “This is a place where you can come and try cheese and cured meats with a glass of wine any time of the day,” says one half of The Stinking Bishops, Jamie Nimmo.
He, along with chef Keiran Day, are the men behind the ingenious outfit, which flung open its doors on the 1st of April 2014 and has been overwhelmed by cheese loving diners (like ourselves) and cheese loving interviewers (us again) ever since.
At any one time you can expect something close to 30 quality cheeses in stock, which the boys will keep you up-to-date with via the chalked up ‘Cheese Over the Counter’ board up front. The wine selection is just as extensive, with the bishops keeping these pairings a local one, housing only Australian wines. And a couple of whiskies and beers for those so inclined, too.
Make a date with a cut of cheese and a glass of wine at The Stinking Bishops. Here’s how:
The vibe: Casual, friendly, romantic.
Cuisine: Share-boards, Modern Australian.
Ideal for: Cheese connoisseurs, dates, dedicated degustation outings.
Try the... Mr Crispy sandwiches, ($10 take away, $12.50 dine-in).
By the way...The best nights for a short wait and a good table are Tuesdays, or weekdays at 3-4pm.
Ask your well versed server for his/her suggestion to complement your cheese and you’ll not only get a finely-tuned match, but a smile as well.
Like any ordinary cheesemonger, you can choose to purchase your pick of the stinks over the counter outright, which is exactly the idea one fine chap had during their first week of opening.
“He came in and asked for the Holy Goat Brigid’s Well, which is our most expensive cheese at $150 per kilogram,” recalls Jamie. “I asked him how much he wanted and he said, ‘everything you have’.”
Apparently he had a pretty big party to cater for.
Smaller parties like ours, however, can choose to stay, sit and sample The Stinking Bishop’s stock of fromage at our own leisure. How you do this is all up to you. You can order a two/three/four cheese board (strike out whichever is inappropriate), or you can mix your meats with your cheeses on a well-curated ploughman’s board, which includes cheddar, pig’s cheek, pub pickled eggs and dill cucumber.
Afterwards, you could go down a lunch/dinner meal route. The Bishops’ dine-in menu includes pork pie (decadent doesn’t even begin to describe this bad boy), salad of the week and their now famous and “highly engineered” Mr Crispy pressed sandwich. They’re so good they’re turning jaded foodies into fans. “Not Quite Nigella broke her toastie ban for them,” says Jamie.
Their fillings are – for obvious reasons – cheese-driven and include toasties of wagyu smoked beef, gruyere, horseradish, mayo and bread and butter pickles and of Barossa ham, cheddar, tomato jam and mustard.
When we ask Jamie what it is about these Mr Crispy’s that makes it so special, he fires back with an excited, “Have you tried just your average toastie.
Our suggestion? Arrive early. Almost every evening since their launch the boys have been swamped. The current capacity of their outfit is just under 30 pax and Kieran tells us it’s nowhere near enough for the number of clientele knocking on their doors daily. “We write their names down on a waiting list,” he says. “People have to wait for an hour, sometimes an hour and a half.”
They open at 9am on weekends.
And in this case, we think we’re justified in saying that cheese trumps sleep.
Where: Shop 5 63/71 Enmore Rd, Newtown
Opening hours: Tues and Wed 5pm-10pm (BYO after 7pm), Thu & Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 9am-11am-4:30pm / 5:30pm-10pm, Sun 11am-6pm