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Small bar

Sydney has really been coming alive; dead alleyways rejuvenated by a burst of speakeasys and the impending glorious arrival of some food truckery to our lean street-food scene (more on that next time). Every now and again though you just want to curl up away from the grit and grind with drink in hand to catch some vitamin D.

Jester Seeds has been around for a while but unlike its many small-bar counterparts this has a large signposted shop-front on a main road. The entrance of the bar is open and welcoming: a jumble of tattered chairs, chipped tables and flowers looking out onto the snarl of King street. Slip down the corridor behind the kitchen though and you’ll find a schizophrenic mix of spaces: we pass through the dark candle lit séance corner and the grande open room out to the intimate courtyard at the back, decked with fake lawn, blankets, umbrellas and milk crates.

We slowly settle down in the corner on some hessian cushions and admire this little patch of adult playground: the tartan blankets and records-cum-coasters are a sweet thought and would be perfect for sprawling on the astro-turf on a chilly evening with wine in hand.


Lemon lime bitters

The menu here’s largely focused on cocktails and small bites with an Asian-Mex bent. Agatha sips on a lemon lime bitters whilst I slowly lap up one of the cocktails off the black board specials.

Sloe ginger fizz: mix of sloe gin and elderflower with a hint of lemongrass (special) $16

The Sloe ginger fizz is pleasantly sweet and floral, finished off with a subtle whiff of lemongrass and a pretty curl of orange rind.

Dos Blockos $8

Although the focus is on cocktails they also have 2 bottled beers available. The waitress recommended I try the Dos Blockos: a Melbournian micro brew that’s a little denser than your average pale lager and comes in a branded paper bag which I found rather amusing.

Kalbi Tacos x2: Kalbi beef, avocado and hot sauce $10

Although the bar is almost empty, it takes quite a while for our tacos to arrive but we waited patiently in anticipation of some grilled soy-marinated beef deliciousness. The twins arrive and are very pretty indeed; with strips of beef propped up on a bright bed of carrot, cabbage and coriander. We take a bite but were disappointed to find the beef was cold and bland without the smokey sweetness you would normally get from a Korean grill marinade and the large portion of salad meant it drowned out any taste of meat anyway.

Broken Potatoes with paprika mayo and sage $6

It takes another while before out potatoes arrive, we’re relieved to find these are hot and crispy but noted that most of them had one side which was quite burnt and verging on being a little bitter from the charring, but by this point we’re hungry so we gladly coat these in the paprika mayo.

Miso Roasted Corn with fluffy Parmesan $6

Last to arrive was the corn, a simple enough affair which I rolled liberally on the bed of finely grated Parmesan.

A few more people arrive, we share a smile and nod before they settle down on the lawn with their drinks. The two of us can’t help but linger for a moment longer and watch as the hills hoist next door spins in the breeze under the fading rays of the Summer sun before picking up our bags and disappearing back onto the blur of King Street.

The Verdict
It’s a lovely worn-in space where you can get a quiet drink to the hum of inner-west suburbia; perfect for those moments when you don’t want to fight the peacocks or pokies for a spot at the bar. Perhaps we’ve been unlucky and visited whilst the kitchen was having a bad day (I’ve seen photos of the same dishes on other sites and they didn’t appear burnt or cold) but I personally would not return for the food. Cocktails and jugs of Sangria though, are a different matter.

Jester Seeds
a. 127 King Street Newtown
t. 9557 7008
e. info(at)jesterseeds.com
w. http://www.jesterseeds.com

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2011 was the year we finally experienced a wind change and saw a plethora of quality South American eateries blow into town. I’m sure you’re thinking “hey trying all those tacos and pulled pork dishes is hard work” and you’re right, luckily you can now sate your queso fresco induced thirst with some Latino beer and deliciously alcoholic Agave juice at Tio’s.

Tio’s Cerveceria is billed as a ‘Guatemalan tequila bar and beer hall’ opened by two moutached Shady Pines alumni and the pedigree shows: it’s got that innate chilled out kitschy vibe with layout focused on the long wooden bar running the length of the establishment.

Drinks here are well…tequila, 70+ tequilas in fact so if it’s never been your thing, this is your best chance of converting.

Annie and I are here to down a (few) drinks before an exhibition; it’s knock-off hour but the cavernous small bar remains relatively empty except for a few chicas sipping cocktails and chatting to Jeremy Blackmore, Alex Dowd and their crew.

The whole place feels like a south-of-the-border-summer-break-frat-party waiting to happen with plastic owls, parrots, dripping wax and religious iconography dotting the walls and looping through the rafters. We pull up two stools and Jeremy arrives and asks what we’d like, we’re stumped as always so he pushes on asking whether we prefer our drinks sweet or sour. An awkward pause ensues so he declares he’ll make one of each.


Tequila with juiced lime (left) $10

I’m given the sour: he explains that they juice half a whole lime including the pip so it adds a touch of bitterness to the drink, which turned out to be quite sweet and refreshing without any trace of bitterness.


Tequila with apple, cucumber, hebs $10

Annie’s was really fruity with the strong freshness of the cucumber shouting above the herbs and apple, the drink was comparable to a Mexican Pimm’s punch.


70+ Tequilas

All the while, one of the guys behind us had been working hard to fix the broken carnival pop corn machine. With our drinks almost finished a fat paper bag of chilli corn goodness suddenly popped onto the bar in front of us; Annie and I twist open the top and started the uncontrollable munching.


Complimentary chilli popcorn

I thought it’d be wise to order one for the road and requested “something quirky”.


Tequila with coffee and condensed milk $10

A chocolated coloured glass mug arrived, it turned out to be a Vietnamese inspired concoction of coffee, condensed milk and of course, tequila. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t a revelation either (perhaps it’s because they were using Nescafe) although I admire the boys’ creativity.

We sadly smooth out our wrinkly popcorn-bag carcass and as we chat away, a soft plop sounds the arrival of another fresh bag! We can’t resist hanging around longer, nibbling on popcorn, admiring the mismatched tiles and plastic figures until we realise time got away from us and we were running very late.

I guess a holiday in Mexico can do that to you.

4

The Verdict
A quirky laid back Tequila bar serving great drinks and free popcorn at an un-Sydney price (I’ve heard they sell salted and limed $5 tinnys). Those who aren’t fans of cerveza will be glad the boys will have brought out a printed cocktail menu by now (on the back of Mexican post cards no less). Noise levels can vary, it was murmur quiet when I was there but a friend later informed me they arrived at 8 to an uncomfortable wall of sound. But just a quiet word between you and I: Tio’s is the best place to expand your tequila based repertoire and train your liver in anticipation of that Latin getaway so swing by and start “salud”ing soon.

Tio’s Cerveceria
a. 4-14 Foster Street, Surry Hills
w. www.tioscerveceria.blogspot.com

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Sydney’s never been much of a secret city, we’re all nip & tuck, flash and show, social pages, champagne and technicolour; we leave the cobblestones and noir to Melbourne. If you really look though, you’ll see we can be a playful city too.


Taken by J. Pang

Located in by far the most secret location of them all, the only telltale sign of this new speakeasy is a trail of bright young things emerging from a fire escape in a dark driveway on an otherwise deserted Clarance street. Don’t worry it’s not a drug bust but some slightly inebriated customers leaving Baxter Inn: the newest child from the boys of the beloved Shady Pines Saloon. So if you’ve avoided Jason Scott and Anton Forte’s stellar initial effort because of a crippling doraphobia or peanut allergy then this new American sports bar should draw you back into the cool crowd.

We arrive late one evening and without having to wait (pretty chuffed especially having spotted a 1 hour queue at Shady Pines) down the rabbit hole we go and emerge in a lively underground Chicago sports bar. Candle and boxing memorabilia clutter the low underground space while a mixed crowd of suits and youths sip cocktails and whiskeys along to some old blues tunes.

Depending on who you ask these guys have either 150 or 300 whiskeys at hand, given I’ve probably tried about 4 in my lifetime both counts sound impressive to me. Inundated with choice (Whiskey cognescenti can choose their tipple based on region and age) I ask our bartender for his favourite and he pours us two single malts served neat over a block of hand chipped ice.

Glenmorangie Original 10 years $10 + Glenmorangie Nectar D’or 12 years $13

The original is incredibly floral and smooth and my drinking companion seems impressed. From the same distillery the Nectar D’or has been aged in hand picked French (Sauternes to be precise) casks and is quite sweet, this is definitely my preference although seasoned drinkers may find this too cloying.

If whiskeys aren’t you thing don’t fear, they’ve got a cocktail menu, beers on tap, wines and cognacs in the cellars and all the regular spirits at hand. Ask for your complimentary bowl of pretzels and I’ll wager you’ll lose a few good hours in this cosy hide away.

Who’d ever thought, we’d soon be out-Melbourning the Melbournians and I for one ain’t complainin’.

4

The Verdict
Easy going communal watering hole with fair priced tipples and the largest collection of whiskey at hand in the heart of the CBD. You hear that? It’s the silence of an office just emptied out. Join your friends there and play a little.

Baxter Inn
a. Basement, 152-156 Clarence St Sydney (walk down the driveway and turn right)
e. pretzels(at)thebaxterinn.com
w. www.thebaxterinn.com

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If you stalk food porn you’re sure to have encountered a post on the Dip and spied some glorious photos of chef Levin’s hotdogs, burgers, nachos and grilled corn. Just like with any kind of romance (ok so mine is with food don’t judge) it’s all giddy at the start when it’s new, but it has to evolve to stay interesting. So after celebrating 6 months of dungeon deliciousness the guys at Goodgod Small Bar’s canteen have done just that.

Arriving early (well technically late but early by our standards..and it turned out by everyone else’s too) for a gig we thought it best to sooth our stomachs with a bit of American comfort beforehand, as we sidle up to the counter I looked up and saw the black board shouting “New Menu!”. We took the hint and scanned the new cards which now featured an expanded list of hot dogs along with the addition of a summer salad and hot wings.

Anyway enough talk, time to get scrolling.


The Coaster punch jug: GoodGod’s orange margarita made with 100% blue agave tequila, cointreau, orange bitters & fresh orange $33

The guys have heaps of punch jugs on offer, we opted for something citrusy but found this a bit too sweet.


Mocktail (by request) $3.50


Salsa Fries: thick cut steak fries with fresh tomato salsa and cheese $7

The fries here seem to have a size crisis, the first time I had these they were deliciously crisp with a salty salsa but the serving was very small. This time however the size has doubled but they’re not as good as I recall with a saddening salsa to chip ratio.


Aperol Spritz $8.50

After the guys at 10 William St popped my Spritz cherry it seems like a good default drink to request, not too sweet, very drinkable and it somehow masks your inability to navigate around a drinks menu. On my last visit it was promoted as a special drink for $10 however this time it was somehow a cheaper item.


Confuse di Mouth: smoked kosher hot dog with melted cheese, dill pickles, grilled onions, american mustard and ketchup $12


Watermelon and Bacon burger (special): grilled watermelon, bacon, lettuce and onions $12

Although the new hot dogs sound amazing (who can turn down peppers with relish on their dogs) my curiosity kicked in when I spotted the special item. The idea of watermelon and bacon sounds like a rather dubious marriage but I put my faith in the professionals and those guys knew what they were doing! The watermelon was just a little sweet with the density of grilled cucumber and all the ingredients bar the lettuce spent some time on the grill making the overall flavour intensely smokey, we agreed this was a must have.


Lev’s Dawg: smoked kosher hot dog with chipotle mayo, fresh tomato salsa, grilled yellow peppers and american mustard on a steamed bun $12 + Southern Smoke: 12 hour smoked pulled pork sandwiches with bbq beans, apple and cabbage slaw and bbq sauce $12

We also tried some classics, the southern smoke’s still a winner with the beautifully tender pulled pork a dove tailed match to the apple and cabbage slaw. My face got a bit messy with the super soft damper bun but we all make do with life’s hardships.


Hot Wings: red hot chicken wings with celery and ranch dipping sauce $10

The hot wings have now made their way onto the permanent menu, they were adequately hot and salty but we were under the impression they were going to be fried wings speckled with chilli much like the ones at Norfolk so we were a bit disappointed. The chicken was overcooked and I had no idea what I was meant to do with the celery which became a bit of an after thought nibble once the wings were finished.


Ice Cold Guac: sweet avocado ice cream with strawberry salsa and waffle chips $10

I liked the idea of the Ice Cold Guac and was bemused by the idea of “Mexing” up the dessert with some waffle chips and strawberry salsa. Although the taste was quite decent the serving was rather small and the iced avocado too hard.

Peanut Butter n Jelly Sandwich: peanut butter ice cream with toasted brioche and strawberry jelly $10

Another entertaining reinvention, peanut butter and jelly cold sandwich with the jelly being a runny drizzle of strawberry sauce. This too I thought was on the small side and although not bad I probably wouldn’t order it again.

The Dip’s strengths lies in Levin’s barbecuing finesse with fantastically smokey burgers and delicious hot dogs. The team would likely benefit from hiring someone who has a bit more experience with desserts or maybe source their ice cream from the Messina boys who do a mean rendition of salty peanut.Having said that it’s a pretty chill place serving good dosh up til the wee hours and in a city like Sydney with limited supper venues we can only thank the Lord we’ve got the Dip.

Three out of five

Verdict
Totally no fuss and cheery food by an ex DJ cooking with a lot of love at this American style canteen. Although sometimes there may be a slight struggle with consistency (and I’m not a big fan of the desserts) it’s still hands down my number 1 choice when I’m in the city and looking for an easy late night feed. If the bacon and watermelon burger’s still lingering around on the specials board I’d recommend you give it a go. All the food requires you to dig in and get your hands dirty; just don’t come dressed in anything too nice or your dry cleaner might be a bit upset over the sauce stains.

The Dip @ Goodgod Small Bar
a. 55 Liverpool Street Chinatown
t. 9283 8792
e. do(at)thedip.com.au
w. thedip.com.au

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There’s something sexy about corruption – perhaps it’s the hedonistic boozing, politics & favours behind closed doors, beaded silk french dresses, violence in a tailored three-piece suit or the pungent pheromones from a stack of Benjamins. It may also be because I’ve been watching too much Boardwalk Empire and have a thing for Buscemi’s shrew 1920’s gangster politician and the lobster and scotch the debauched seem to be downing as they dance the night away at Babette’s Supper Club.

If it all sounds pretty dandy and you’re lamenting that time travel doesn’t seem to be a viable option how about you pay a visit to Hinky Dinks instead? The (almost) three-month old 50’s themed small bar is named after Michael ‘Hinky Dink’ Kenna a corrupt Chicago politician who, during the turn of the 20th century gave out meals in exchange for votes and kept close ties with gamblers, gangsters, prostitutes and pimps alike. His namesake bar though seems to share none of the shadiness but reflects the same cheeky attitude  (after all their motto is “Cocktails first. Questions later…”) and middle America pastel, wood and linoleum sheen.

Jenny and I turn up early on a Friday evening ready for some high end (i.e delicious cocktails) boozing, co-owner Dan Knight (ex Longrain) rushes to the door, flashes us a dazzling smile and welcomes us inside…that is as soon has he poses for a photo first.

We’re lucky and manage to snag the last corner spot in the lounge area and immediately start perusing the menu booklet whilst snacking on our complimentary popcorn.

We start off with something fresh: Jenny’s drawn to the idea of basil and honey in a cocktail whilst I instantly prick up at the sight of some potential elderflower liqueur.

HinkyDinks_03Romolo 42: 42 Below Manuka Honey, fresh basil, organic apple, fresh lemon, egg whites $16

The cocktail arrives with a lone basil leaf floating on some foamy egg white, it’s light but still quite sweet with the basil lending the drink some depth.

Elderfashioned (House-aged cocktail rested in American oak barrels): Kentucky bourbon, elderflower liqueur, aromatic bitters with citrus garnish over block ice $18

I envisaged the combination of flower liqueur and American oak would provide a nuanced mild drink however I didn’t read the description thoroughly and only later realised that the Kentucky bourbon (which I dislike) makes up a large portion of the drink which turned out to be quite stiff. The scotch drinker of our group approved though and ordered another.

Pan-fried olive and Parmesan sandwich $8

The infamous sandwich arrived and the oil from pan and cheese seems to seep through the three golden triangles with the smear of tapenade and Parmesan holding it all together. It was heart-palpitating delicious and we savoured the beautiful marriage of Parmesan and olive until the last bite.

Chicken liver parfait with cornichons & sourdough toast $16

We’re also renown lovers of a good poultry liver pate and order the chicken liver pate. It arrives in a fair sized ramekin with a thick layer of butter and some pre-buttered toasty hot sourdough. We take turns slathering on a small mound of parfait onto the bread before downing it with gusto.


Hinky Fizz: In-house strawberry and prosecco sorbet, Bombay Sapphire, elderflower liqueur, peach bitters, grapefruit fizz $16

The squeal-worthy Hinky Fizz arrives in an ice cream cup with a generous scoop of sweet prosecco sorbet paddling around in a pool of sweet summery fizz.


Zombie: Silver, aged and OP rums, Luxardo, cinnamon syrup, fresh lime, passionfruit, grapefruit juice, absinthe flame $19 + Castaway Collins: Sailor Jerry Spiced, fresh pineapple, fresh lemon, pineapple juice, in-house pomegranate and cinnamon syrup, bitters, soda $17

I urged someone to order the Zombie since it’s meant to be killer potent (orders capped at two per person!) but it turned out to be quite sweet and fruity with the alcohol largely masked by the grapefruit juice. The Castaway Collins is also an easy one to down with the pineapple juice dominating.


(Left to right, top to bottom) Dinky Five-O: Pisco, fresh lemon, in-house Five-O syrup, fresh berries, ginger beer $16 + The mint green bar + Gin ‘n’ Jam: Bombay Sapphire, Aperol, in-house rose-petal jam, fresh lemon, cranberry bitters, egg whites $17 + Extra popcorn $5

The Dinky Five-O was a happy drink with little seeds from the fresh blackberries levitating within the ginger beer but the Gin ‘n’ Jam though was amazing: the floral notes of the home-made rose petal jam providing a touch of sweet elegance.

Fried squid with aioli $16

I’ve read complaints that the squid would be too pale but found I really enjoyed them this way. The thinness of the batter allowed the taste of the squid to shine through and the addition of parsley and basil was a stroke of genius. I would seriously like to request all fried items from now on in to include a toss of fresh herbs to lighten the grease load.

Chocolate mousse $10

One of the team has an insatiable sweet tooth and couldn’t resist finishing off with some chocolate mousse which arrived in a wide-brimmed tea cup. All of a sudden everyone started making googly eyes at each other so I dipped my spoon in as well…my, who’d have thought a chocolate mousse could be this good! Little specks of chocolate hiding at the bottom amongst a thick swathe of rich chocolate cream which tastes so luxurious without being overly milky.

The well-considered cocktails of co-owner and award-winning bar tender Jeremy Shipley (ex Longrain, Guillaume at Bennelong) coupled with some seriously indulgent nibbles designed by Laif Etournaud of ONDE means we found it hard to leave. Languishing on the couches and watching the Kings Cross locals stagger by we saw groups come and go however we couldn’t part until we finished every last morsel. To leave something so good unfinished would be criminal.

The Verdict
A blend of cute, quirk and cool Hinky Dinks is a downright cosy spot to while away the evening. I’ll definitely be back to try more of Shipley’s cocktails with some meatballs and croquettes. The one downer might be that so much deliciousness can come at a price however since our last visit they’ve launched a live site and published some good value specials. They now have a happy hour which runs from 5-7pm daily with a selection of cocktails going for only $10 a pop and the must-try Parmesan & olive sandwich going for only $6. Uh oh, now you’ve got no excuse.

Hinky Dinks
a. 185 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
t. 8084 6379
e. info(at)hinkydinks.com.au
w. www.hinkydinks.com.au

Hinky Dinks on Urbanspoon

Despite my best efforts it’s been a bit difficult to find a time to visit Freda’s since it’s not located near many other drinking establishments except the Abercrombie so for now we’ve settled for popping by for lunch instead.

Even after some online sleuthing it took us a few moments to find Freda’s. The entrance is nondescript, a single green blackboard hangs on a gate listing a couple of daily offerings and a chalk drawn arrow pointing down the long empty driveway. We bump into a waitress who leads us down and through an opening; we step inside eyes adjusting to the cool darkness and tungsten lit space within.

The three amigos Simon Cancio (ex Sean’s Panorama, Onde, Luxe and Bourke Street bakeries), Ibrahim Kasif (ex Fish Face) and Marty Campaign (ex el Coctel) have taken over this 100 year old site and upped the charm to provide a sleek drinking hole. There’s something about warehouses which seem super awesome or maybe it’s just a personal penchant for exposed beams, bricks and industrial chic but the space just feels NYC cool.


Large Cappuccino $4.50

The two of us settle down at the window bay and are handed a single page drinks menu. I’ve yet to have my caffeine hit so played it safe whilst Jen is keen to sample the daily juice.


Daily Juice: Watermelon with Mint $4

Campaign delivers this tall glass to our table, it’s refreshing and visually intense with the added flourish of a mint sprig making it appear more like a cocktail.

The food can vary daily, the short chalkboard menu lists sandwiches and salads but we were adamant about trying the slow roasted pork sandwich. Noticing our indecision regarding salad choice (I’m failing to make all the tough decisions) the waitress suggested that she could serve a half and half: my face lit up at this compromise, it’s a fantastic solution and I lamented that not everyone could offer me half and half of everything in life.


Salad of cauliflower, quinoa, broad beans and fennel + Salad of sugar snap green bean, broccoli, hazelnut and orange vinegarette $10

Our pretty plate of greens arrive and Jen notes it’s really fresh and delicious. I love their creativity in mixing beans with hazelnuts but would say my preference lies with the cauliflower and broad bean combination. They didn’t overdo it with the quinoa which added a beautiful texture without trying too hard (unlike some other chefs, guys please take note just because it’s the super food of the moment doesn’t mean you have to use it with everything) and I’m stoked to say it’s the best quinoa dish I’ve had to date.


Slow roasted pork shoulder with cabbage and salsa verde sandwich $11

But of course munchkins we were here for the slow roasted pork sando. The floury ciabatta made fresh that morning by Cancio is light yet has enough chew resistance, the pork shoulder meat tender and slathered with the salsa verde. It comes sliced and served with half a gherkin and two slices of radishes pickled with beetroot juice.


Little details: small chunks of roast pork, dessert spoon at the ready, second hand chairs, South American scenes and tapestry

Luckily we avoided potential disaster by sharing instead of ordering two sandwiches so we still had a small empty corner in our stomachs shaped like a slice of their cake of the day.


Orange cake $7

My eyes widen when we were presented with this cake slice, it was quite a generous serving and yet homely at the same time (I’m sure if my grandma wasn’t Asian she would bake me something like this). Sliding our forks in we mused over why there wasn’t any syrup but one taste and it was obvious: the cake was already exceptionally moist with small squares of orange peel folded through. They’ve also managed to keep the sugar content down and let the natural sweetness of the orange shine. We polished this off in moments and as Campaign walked past to ask us how our cake was he laughed when he noticed our spotless plate. Somethings are just too good and we thought it best not to leave any evidence behind.

Three out of five

The Verdict
This two week old small bar has yet to catch on big so you can still have a quiet soothing lunch with your mates and sip a summer juice before heading back to the studio. I confess to being a little disappointed that the pork to bread ratio wasn’t as luxurious as that of the photos posted on their Facebook page but it still tasted amazing with my friend pining for the sandwich hours later. I’m definitely keen to come back one evening to try a few cocktails while nibbling on some beautiful Iberian bar food.

Freda’s
a. 109 Regent Street Chippendale (walk down the driveway and there should be a door to your left)
t. 8971 7336
e. info(at)fredas.com.au
w. www.fredas.com.au

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It’s pretty handy having good friends living in the city. It becomes infinitely convenient to have a cold beer while waiting for your appointment, parking becomes a non issue and it’s a kind comfort to know you have a place to sleep off the booze when you miss the last train home. For those not blessed with this golden goose of friendship you’ll at least always have Darlie Laundromatic. While they probably can’t offer you a soft spot to rest your head, they’ll certainly make you feel at home as you sip your $5 Tsing Tao tinnie in the courtyard and line your stomach with some fine morsels while you wait for the afternoon to pass.

Just a jig away from Shady Pines, the Darlie has been open since July and they’ve built up a quiet circle of friends: the teetering blue and green laundromat themed small bar attracts an easy going local crowd. We bump elbows and share friendly jibes with our neighbours whilst waiting for the other half of our party to arrive.


Raspberry and Ginger cordial with Vodka soda $7.50

The terrace bar is decorated as a kitschy style hangout, so what’s more quaint than home made cordial? We tried the raspberry with ginger and was surprised to find it had that lingering ginger warmth without being too sweet (although I would have welcomed a heavier hand with the vodka). They also offered pear & maple cordial which was a bit disappointing as it erred on the bland side.


Danish Dog: lightly toasted bun with remoulade, crunchy onions, pickled cucumber and relish  $4.50

The food menu includes bar snacks, salads and steak sandwiches but most people are here for the food item of 2011: hot dogs (mini ones no less just to up the hip factor). I opted for the Danish dog and tried my best to savour this cutie but it was difficult not to cram it down in one go.


Laundry Dog: lightly toasted bun with mustard, caramelised onion, cheese, grated dill pickles and harissa aioli $5

Agatha opted for the dog of the house, made all the more tasty with the addition of caramelised onions and slight burn from the Harissa. We both nodded with agreement: these were easily some of the best hot dogs we’ve had.


The tiny bar counter

At this point more people started floating in so we all wiggled along the communal table to make room for each other.


Cordial with soda $4

If you happen to be driving fear not, you can always try the cordial sans vodka. It’s an extra large serving of cordial arriving in a tall milkshake glass (of course).


Mini Laundry Burger: with mustard, caramelised onion, cheese, grated dill pickles and Harissa aioli $5 + Sour Apple cordial with Vodka soda $7.50

We flirted with the idea of ordering the rustic ploughmans platter or the BBQ pork & mango salad but settled on the mini burgers featured on the specials board. If the hot dogs were good these burgers were amazing: the mini patty deliciously juicy, we finished the sliders in record time with the residual kick of Harissa aioli lingering on our tongues.


Mini Cheese Burger $5

Since we’re running late for a gig, the four of us regretfully had to skip the prospect of some ice cream sandwiches and strawberries with cream. As we rush out the door another couple wandered in, holding the door for us whilst we fumbled with our jackets and handbags. Whoever said community was dead obviously just needed an afternoon with the laundry.

Three out of five

The Verdict
A perfect haunt for lazy evenings or a great pit stop to meetup with friends before a night out, you won’t have to feel out of place at this casual home away from home. The folks have also saved any need for deliberation before bringing your friends via providing options for vegetarians, vegans and the gluten intolerant alike. If you find yourself at the Laundromatic make sure you order a glass of the home made cordial with your hot dog sliders, we’d easily down a score of these again.

Darlie Laundromatic
a. 304 Palmer Street Darlinghurst
t. 8095 0129
e. darlielaundromatic(at)gmail.com
w. darlielaundromatic.com

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