1989 Kitchen & Arcade
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.