Una's mixes the sublime with the ridiculous in way that only an inner-city German-themed schnitzel house can. You stumble across Una's walking up Victoria Street, nestled among an array of good Darlinghurst dining options. At first, Una's seems out of place in its surroundings for it is neither chic nor health-conscious: the Teutonic-kitsch décor (think cuckoo clocks and mounted skis) and the high-calorie dishes of meat in creamy sauces see to that.
But Una's does its job well. We visited last Saturday, on the night of the Mardi Gras parade. Having fought to get through the thronging crowds lining Oxford Street and filling the surrounding roads, we finally arrived on Victoria Street famished. We immediately thought of Una's. We walked in off the street and found the place half-empty. This is unusual—usually in the evenings the place is buzzing with diners and I've often had to wait upstairs in the small bar for a while for a table to open up; the paucity of patrons on Saturday was certainly due to every man and his dog heading over to Oxford Street to watch the parade. A slightly camp, middle-aged waiter gaily showed us to our table and handed us the menu. Service at Una's is uniformly excellent: prompt, polite and friendly. The waiters are decked out in Lederhosen, which adds yet another playful cliché to the restaurant's atmosphere.
The menu offers reasonably standard Germanic fare: schnitzel of chicken or veal; sausages; pork cooked in various ways; and sides of potato in different guises. Mains are served with a simple, small cold salad of finely sliced Savoy cabbage in a light vinaigrette and a dusting of paprika. Rösti features as an accompaniment to most mains. Other dishes are available on the menu, including Caesar salad and an array of entrees (including a coronary-inducing deep-fried camembert). An few blackboard specials are also on offer. We ordered chicken schnitzel—one with mushroom sauce (alias 'Jäger Schnitzel'), one without—with a side of potato salad to share. Both dishes emerged from the kitchen with lightning speed and each schnitzel occupied almost an entire plate. The mushroom sauce was dark brown, thick and creamy; the plain schnitzel was served with a wedge of lemon, the juice nicely cutting through the richness of the dish. The chicken meat itself remained plump, juicy and tender. The rösti was very good—though, perhaps, a little too buttery—and the potato salad was refreshing in its basic mayonnaise and mustard dressing. Easily too much food for two people to finish in one sitting, we made a valiant attempt and left only a small portion of each dish on the plate. Dessert was clearly out of the question right after such large mains; though a reasonable dessert menu is available.
A range of drinks is available, though the selection of imported beers is less extensive than at other German-themed cafes in Sydney and the wine list is quite limited. We satisfied ourselves with an apple cider and some soft drink. BYO wine allowed (corkage of about $2.50 pp).
The bill came to about $25 per person.
Getting to Una's—Victoria Street is a short (5-10 minute) walk from south Kings Cross station. Another easy option is to catch the 389 bus (Circular Quay—Bondi Junction via Paddington) and get off at St Vincent's Hospital; the stop is at the intersection of Victoria and Burton Streets. Alternatively, Taylor Square is about a 10 minute walk south down Victoria Street. Una's is near the intersection of Victoria and Surry Streets, about half-way between St Vincent's Hospital and the 'Coke' sign at Kings Cross.
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