1989 Kitchen & Ar­cade

Time Out (Sydney) - - Food & Drink - Lee Tran Lam

NO, 1989 IS not the name of a Taylor Swift con­cept café (al­though, some­one please make that hap­pen), but a New­town eatery ded­i­cated to the coin-op­er­ated joys of old­school ar­cade games. Own­ers Marnie and Ben Camp­bell were in­spired by a trip to New York’s Bar­cade and this venue is a Syd­ney remix, with 23 lo­cal craft beers on tap or as tin­nies. By day, 1989 runs in café mode, with all-ages-friendly drinks like milk­shakes and the Lit­tle Mar­i­onette’s Sanchez 7 Blend for cof­fee. The café’s sound­track fires off plenty of plinks and beeps as play­ers face rounds of Street­fighter II, The Simp­sons, Dou­ble Dragon or Teenage Mu­tant Hero (sic) Tur­tles. For when you’re pow­er­ing peo­ple, not high scores, or­der the roast cau­li­flower salad. It could do with more of the ad­ver­tised hal­loumi crisps, but the mixed mush­rooms are banked with plenty of flavour from thyme and gar­lic but­ter, poached eggs, toasted hazel­nuts and mar­i­nated feta. Got a sweeter tooth? The French toast is made with fat stacks of Luxe brioche, peanut but­ter mas­car­pone and berry com­pote. And, be­cause it is 2017, there is a Bud­dha bowl full of quinoa and veg­gies topped with tahini yo­ghurt dress­ing. It’s very #health. Don’t as­sume that it’s game over for he­do­nis­tic choices, though. Chef Lach­lan Ross is from Pub Life Kitchen and given that es­tab­lish­ment’s rep­u­ta­tion for burg­ers, 1989 is re­haul­ing its cur­rent line-up of pat­ties, buns and fries. Burg­ers are cur­rently in beta-test­ing mode; ex­pect their 2.0 ver­sions soon. The café is lit­er­ally pow­ered by fun and games, so in­sert coin if you want to re­live and re­play your ar­cade favourites – or press start for a promis­ing game-com­pat­i­ble menu.

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