The Bach isn't the first beach house-themed eatery in town, but it's certainly the first New Zealand-themed beach house restaurant in Sydney, as far as we know. Take a native Kiwi with you and you'll get a running commentary on both thematic points scored (Monteith's on tap, L&P in the bottle) and missed (no paua-shell ashtrays or faded board-games on the shelf). Split Enz, Lorde, the Verlaines and Tall Dwarfs are conspicuously absent from the playlist (let alone Dave Dobbyn), which instead favours Pearl Jam, Weezer and Mark Ronson, and with much of the seating arranged bar-style, the vibe is more eat-drink-get-out than linger-and-savour. Could you tell that this is a New Zealand-driven restaurant by the menu alone? In the absence of whitebait and paua you could point to the New Zealand salmon, but it's a commonly seen product here and the silken execution of its sav-blanc marinade might owe more to the time chef Darrien Potaka spent at Bistro Moncur than anything else.
Supple, elastic pappardelle with a not-too-snotty slow-cooked egg and "wild" mushrooms ticks the box, but our correspondent from the land of the long white cloud was a bit concerned that the hokey pokey brûlée (a brûlée simply dotted with bits of honeycomb) didn't really make good on the promise of such a Kiwi classic.
Still, the place has brio, and if they up the New Zealand factor in the food (somehow), The Bach (pronounced "batch") may yet become a slice of heaven for expats and curious Newtowners alike. The Bach, 399 King St, Newtown, NSW, (02) 8084 4093