An Urban Oasis - Monopole Potts Point
When I was invited along to the Urban Oasis Tour through Sydney’s Potts Point, I knew that my RSVP could only mean one thing…that I was about to discover something seriously wonderful. I’ve always been a big city girl despite the fact that two green-thumbed parents from small farm villages raised me. Garden grown basil, tomatoes, lettuce and olives were a boring norm and learning to cook kicked in as soon as I was old enough to stand on a chair at the kitchen sink without falling off. So as soon as I was old enough to venture out into the big smoke, life became a matter of balancing green organic with broken grey. Now at 29 years old, I maintain the same balancing act. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I can still remember the first time I told my mum that I was heading out to a party in Potts Point, and it’s a good thing I didn’t answer her truthfully when she asked where exactly Potts Point is. You see, Potts Point is the small, one-kilometer long village that hugs the edge of Sydney’s controversial Kings Cross, and for anyone who knows my sweet mother, you'd know why this entire area was once upon a time completely out of bounds. Mainly because of the stigma attached, but by the time I was old enough to discover my home city, I quickly learned that stigmas and stereotypes are only 1% of a beautiful bigger picture.
Potts Point local and devotee Indira Naidoo hosted the tour and lovingly led us through the concrete sprawl of her long time neighbourhood, introducing us to rooftop gardens and edible balconies along the way. With so many new places to feature up my sleeve, I thought I'd cut to noon and feature where we stopped for lunch.
If there had to be one restaurant that effectively sums up the Potts Point community, Monopole would be the perfect embodiment: enigmatic, welcoming and delightfully surprising.
This award wining establishment boasts a menu that’s perfect for diners like me – rarely alone and always sharing. With an earthy biodynamic wine selection and menu created with fresh locally sourced produce, Monopole served up one of the best lunches I’ve experienced in quite some time. One of the features of the Monopole kitchen that had me at hello is that the charcuterie served is all made in house. Served with outstanding fresh bread, the charcuterie plate with pickles was just the ticket after a morning cracking our way through this concrete playground.
We were treated to a grazing menu that featured in house Monopole favourites. After our first course of charcuterie, we enjoyed salt cod with green peas, pistachio and mint, followed by a salad of baby cucumber, celery, fennel & pine nuts with rye bread. Fresh, clean and unpretentious, these dishes were perfect for sharing over good conversation and a glass of wine to suit. Finally we were served the spiced leg of lamb, Spanish onion and fetta. To say that this dish was perfectly reminiscent of a summer I spent in Europe would be the understatement of the year. Everything on this plate was deliciously balanced – from the salty creaminess of the fetta to the tender bite of the spiced lamb. The only thing missing was the coastal breeze and winding cobblestone roads.