Archive for December, 2009

December 25, 2009

The Victoria Room

by minibites

Rose Petal, Honey Bee, Valentino

Our last stop on our cocktail trail was the beautiful Victoria Room in Darlinghurst. Named runner up in Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2009 in the Best Design category – I could definitely see why. Beautiful decor and furnishings took us back into the 19th century of Jane Austen with mismatching floral couches, lampshades, wooden executive tables and delicious cocktails to match. This time, it felt as though we forgot our corset dresses, manners and horse and carriage at the front door.

I was well impressed with the cocktail menu, but as I was already in a content state; I settled with the Valentino mocktail to finish the night – a muddled pink grapefruit stirred with lemon, peach and orange juices. Sampling the girls’ choices, I was in absolute awe – some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had in a very long time. The Rose Petal smelt beautiful, with a yummy shake of gin, lychee juice and rose syrup – and the smell definitely did not deceive either. The Honey Bee was definitely stronger, with a mixture of tequila, apple liqueur, honey, egg white, apple and lemon juices. Initially scared with the cocktail description; I was pleasantly surprised by the sweetness and flavours of the cocktail.

Beautiful bar with delicious and creative cocktails to match.

The Victoria Room
Level 1, 235 Victoria Rd
Darlinghurst, Sydney

The Victoria Room on Urbanspoon

December 25, 2009

Bayswater Brasserie

by minibites

Excelsior, Bayswater Cup No 32, Lady Sour, Bayswater Cream

Next stop on our trail is Bayswater Brasserie; nestled amongst a terrance of bars along Bayswater Rd. Named as the Best Cocktail Bar in Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2009, it was definitely a worthy contender of our time. The Cocktail Bar is hidden at the back of the Oyster Bar, the restaurant. It’s a Thursday night and it’s quite lively and the bar is filled with chitter chatter. The decor and feel of the bar is swanky; filled with leather seats, framed pin-up posters and 1920s beats. It really did feel as though we forgot our feather boas and sequins at home.

We anxiously scan through the cocktail menu and to my disappointment, there weren’t many cocktails that tickled my fancy – and in all honestly, it was probably the fact that due to my lack of knowledge and familiarity of many of the liquers, it felt as though none of the cocktails were amazingly exciting. I settled for the Bayswater Cup No 32, London dry gin, Amaro (a bitter and sweet Italian herbal liqueur), Dubonnet (a blend of fortified wine, herbs and spices ), Chambord and lemonade, garnished with seasonal fruit – and in this case, many many lemons, limes and cucumbers. I was pleasantly surprised, the cocktail smelt fantastic and there was a mixture of sweet and bitter flavours, although the cocktail was a little heavy with its syrupy components.

The crowd here is definitely older and judging from the cocktail menu, a level of maturity and alcoholic experience is probably required to truly appreciate this bar.

Bayswater Brasserie is now closed.

Bayswater Brasserie
32 Bayswater Rd
Kings Cross, Sydney

Bayswater Brasserie on Urbanspoon

December 25, 2009

Lotus Bar

by minibites

Hemmetini, Celestial, Lotus Martini, Pomegranate 2nd

The first stop is Lotus Bar; apart of Merivale’s chain and the Runner Up in Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2009 as Best Cocktail Bar, it was definitely on the cards for the night’s agenda. The intimate bar is quietly tucked away behind the Lotus restaurant. Although the bar is relatively small, it is deceiving to the eye with a wall to ceiling mirrored bar, deep ruby red  and gold wallpaper and tea lit candles with mellow music.

I sampled the Hemmetini, a refreshing martini of payet pisco, teichenne melon schnapps, fresh watermelon, lemon juice, sugar and a hint of mint. Definitely refreshing with a little kick from the mint to welcome in a warm summer afternoon. The cocktails were not the best I’ve ever had, but the food was delicious. Feeling peckish, we shared amongst us a slow cooked pork belly, garden peas, tarragon topped with pork crackling. Sweet and simple.

A modern bar with a fresh cocktails and a cosy relaxed atmosphere.

22 Challis Ave
Potts Point, Sydney

Lotus on Urbanspoon

December 20, 2009

The Kings Cross Cocktail Trail

by minibites

Posts up soon of our Kings Cross cocktail trail. It was a travel through time from the modern Lotus Bar, the roaring 1920s of the Bayswater Brasserie and 19th century of the The Victoria Room. All runner ups or winners of the Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2009.

December 19, 2009

The Pond

by minibites

Malri Malri with orange reduction, cauliflower puree and potato salad

Galantine of chicken served with green salad and beetroot

It’s great to see a touch of nature in the middle of the hustle bustle of the city. The Pond opened up in September and has been around to serve delicious creative dishes and a drink, or two. Enter the world of beautiful courtyards, long archaic wooden dining tables, sandstone walls and cosy little corners to chit chatter away. It feels like someone’s home, and the staff treat you like you’re in their home.

The menu is constantly changing which triggers my curiosity and eagerness to keep revisiting. The menu depends on the local food produce available and is simple and fresh. I usually don’t opt for the fish options, but intrigued by its description, we decide to give it ago, and the galantine chicken as a surprise.

The fish is amazing, the orange reduction is the perfect light fresh sauce for the white fish and the cauliflower puree is flawless. The galantine was different experience; and without a clue of what it is, our waitress tried to explain to us in simpleton terms. Soon after it was discovered that is de-boned chicken with a bacon, herb and mushroom stuffing, rolled, slowly cooked, chilled and served cold. Interesting but it didn’t entertain my taste buds for long.

Get in early, for a seat in the beautiful back courtyard on a balmy afternoon. And get in quick, as rumor has it that their Pure Blonde sponsorship is due to end in Jan 2010 so it may or may not be here anymore. I have my fingers crossed that it will stay exactly the way it is.

The Pond is now closed – 07/01/2010

The Pond
32 Burton St
Darlinghurst, Sydney