Any establishment where cheese is the star of the menu gets a hearty tick of approval from me – throw in a catchy cheese-related name and a fine selection of Australian and imported wines, and I’m pretty much ready to move in. The Stinking Bishops opened up on Enmore Road in Newtown last year to the joy of cheese-nerds across Sydney, and it’s become a fast favourite around the neighborhood for the excellent local and imported cheeses on offer, not to mention the stand-out lunch and dinner menu.
The cheese menu is divided into several categories: white mould and surface ripened, hard and semi-hard, blue mould, and also a couple of specials thrown in for good measure. Varieties span the likes of Italian Gorgonzola Dolce, Raw Sheep Milk Pecorino, English Smoked Cheddar, French Brie, and 24-month aged Dutch Gouda. All the cheeses on offer are listed on an enormous chalk-board on the far wall, with each variety’s animal-of-origin indicated by little cows, sheep, or goats. Pick your favourite cheeses from the list, and they’ll be served up with a slab of quince paste, dried muscatels, crackers, bread, and maybe some cured meats if that’s up your alley. Don’t mind if I do. Cheese novice? Don’t fret – you’re in safe hands with the very friendly staff, who are absolute bosses when it comes to their menu.
If you fancy some wine to quaff with your cheese (of course you do, what’s wrong with you?), the top-notch range focuses on Australia and New Zealand, with some additional gems from Italy, Austria, and France. Speaking of France, there’s a very pleasing Chablis on offer, and an excellent Cremant De Bourgogne in the sparkling department. And if wine isn’t your jam, there’s a rather good selection of whiskey and beer available, including Real Ale from friendly neighbourhood brewery Young Henrys.
If you’re the type who feels no fear in the face of a food-coma, the day-to-day lunch and dinner menus offer all the comforts of a well-stocked larder – think English-style pork pie, duck and pistachio patê, charred ox tongue, and bread and butter pudding. Bonus points: the space also doubles as a take-away deli, so you can stock up on your favourite bits to enjoy at home, on the couch, watching Grand Designs (…or is that just me?)
The Bishops hosted a special Valentine’s Day 5-course degustation this year – a perfect opportunity to sample the latest and greatest dishes from the kitchen, each accompanied by a matching wine. Here’s what we scoffed and quaffed:
Sydney rock oyster, Cucumber, Champagne, Smoked salt
Pickled, Roasted & Raw Beetroot Cheesecake (Printhie ‘Mount Canoblas’ Reisling 2012, Orange, NSW)
Lobster tail, Bisque, Radish, Herbs (Port Phillip Estate Pinot Noir Rose 2013, Mornington Penninsula, VIC)
Lamb, Pancetta, Parsnip, Raw Pea, Olive (Padrillos Malbec 2013, Mendoza, Argentina)
Cheese Course (De Perriere Cremont de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France)
Chocolate, Honeycomb, Apricot, Peach (Salto Di Coloras Dolce, Sardinia, Italy)
Find them at 5/63-71 Enmore Road, Newtown NSW 2042.