In January 2024, Newstead welcomed Monal Dining – an intimate eatery operated by a chef with some respectable bona fides. Monal Dining is the brainchild of Nepalese cuisinier Yogesh Budhathoki and his cousin Roman Bhandari – with the former spending spent the past years working in kitchens at The Calile, Greca, Yoko and, most recently, as sous chef at Honto, while the latter boasting a resume working at top-flight hotels in Sydney. The neighbourhood haunt can be found on the corner of Skyring Terrance and Wyandra Street – a space locals might recognise as the former home of Pantry 360. The duo has linked up with Clui Design and Lowry Group to reshape the venue (which boasts 35 seats inside, plus another 2o outside) into a space that blends classic, old-school decorative elements with modern accoutrements – think ample brick and timber, accented by pops of olive green.
When it comes to Monal Dining’s menu, Yogesh isn’t putting any limitations on himself. The menu starts with snacks like Hokkaido scallops with apple, green chilli and cod’s roe, and tuna tartare on fried potato, before the offering progresses to a series of small plates – think momo-like pork dumplings with hemp-seed sauce, stuffed calamari with XO butter and mustard cress, and pulled lamb-filled fried pastry with chilli mayo for dipping. A four-strong selection of mains features succulent lemon molasses-glazed chicken bathing in curry sauce, hearty braised lamb shoulder with house-made roast-tomato jus, grilled barramundi with spring onion and ginger relish, and Riverina black Angus sirloins. Monal’s bar is amply stocked with Australian wines, while a short but sweet cocktail list offers up a clutch of refreshing options.