The Carlisle Bar near Kings Cross station gives a splash of up-town Manhattan bar experience with split level bar and nightclub sprawling along Darlinghurst Road. The champagnes flowed freely at the launch, waiters constantly making endless stream of cocktails. Celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas designed the menu, adding an Asian and Mediterranean twist while bar manager Benjamin Hickey focuses on putting a twist on main classic cocktails by using whiskey, gin and scotch, pairing them with some of their sweet and sour delights.
Listen up VEGGIE CONSUMERS , this tossed and turned Vegetarian Teasers ($26) dish contains chargrilled eggplant with zucchini, capsicum, marinated artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes and olives with pita is quite colourful with a really delicious and crunchy twist. There is room to dunk a piece or two crusty bread into this flavoursome mystery. Each ingredient brings out all the caramelised flavours which is super for a lovely light starter.
Vegetarian Teasers: Chargrilled eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, marinated artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, olives with pita and crusty bread ($26)
From the very first bite of the the Tortilla Chips ($16) with fresh chunks of avocado, chopped coriander chilli and a squirt of lime kicked off with a bang in my mouth. This oversized vegetarian dip highlights a dab of sweetness, tiny invisible coriander chilli are like hidden gems. Strictly speaking, the lime kept everything reFRESHing , making you feel more relaxed.
Fresh avocado, coriander chilli and fresh lime dip. Thanks Sherrie from Crystal Noir for pausing.
Marinated olives and fresh pita
With a soft, silky, textured centre and luscious stringy stretch, this Grilled haloumi cheese ($14), topped with purple grape and balsamic reduction kept its promise with explosion of flavours. There’s something about this haloumi that I found rather exquisite. The sharp grilled freshness of this haloumi kicked butt! I probably don’t come across this homemade cheese as often but I did notice it wasn’t squeaky like other haloumis I’ve eaten. It is best to eat it whilst it is still hot so you can taste the light but filling springy white cheese. Unlike most haloumi cheese, this robust cheese is not as salty rather more milky in flavour. It is true The Carlisle Bar is one of the very few places in Sydney that has haloumi this good.
Did you know the haloumi was made by an elderly yiayia (Greek grandmother)? Yeah I know right… an 86-year-old makes good cheeeesssssse.
Grilled haloumi cheese ($14)
Applause to this bartender for staying calm with all the food bloggers hovering around the bar with bright flash lights going off every few seconds. He still managed to make a few KILLER COCKTAILS.
Bartender preparing Clover Club
If you’re in the mood to THINK PINK, then this S-E-X-Y Clover Club ($18) has got you covered by bringing a touch of Aviation gin, seasonal raspberry, lemon and egg white into a glass. This playful cocktail is the cool kind of way to really get you hooked. With the smooth consistency of egg white, a tangy taste of lemon and the predominant flavour of jin, it would be heart-breaking not to give this ago. I believe this drink is disguised with plenty of raspberry and may often fall under the girly drink, but I did see a lot of males in the room trying to secretly sip the entire cocktail in one go. Teehee.
Clover Club ($18)
Spotted a HEART in one of these Clover Club. Thanks Stephanie from A little bit of Tang for letting me your hand.
Can’t stress enough how good these Lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet ($18) taste. It is an ideal second course or light meal because of its SUPER crisp batter being particularly light served with 3 dipping sauce : sweet chilli plum, soy teriyaki and wasabi aioli. Honestly, this savoury dish has more than enough flavours on its own. You can taste the golden brown flavours, coriander, sliced chilli and spice. You can coat these fresh prawns with a splash of lemon to add an intense zesty taste. Without hesitation, I give this dish TWO THUMBS UP ( If only I had more thumbs… if only). Such a lip-smacking dish with juicy prawns and the soft fried filling.
Lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet
Tastiest prawns @ The Carlisle Bar, Kings Cross
It’s the bartender again! This time his making Eastside Fizz.
Time to match our prawn tapa dish with a cocktail. This time I present to you Eastside Fizz ($18) offering Beefeater gin, lime, Perrier water and to garnish mint plus added sweetness, off course. It’s a shake up of zingy and summery. An ultimate summer cocktail delivering a classic sweet and sour fizz and all the old favourites.
Eastside Fizz ($18)
You know those moments when you’re chicken can get kinda boring? Well not the Spicy chicken ($16)! With the use of exotic chef’s secret sauce, then BBQ’d. These marinated spicy chicken thigh fillets is one prize winning dish. It’s packed full of interesting savoury flavours for example it has a pleasant Thai coating or along the lines of something Asian cuisines.
Spicy chicken ($16)
Can you guess what this cocktail is?
South of The Border ($18) knows how to show off its charm right in front of me. It’s a collection of Tequila, Mezcal, passionfruit, lime and vanilla. A definite caffeine cocktail kick with substantial amount of tequila. The best part of this drink is nibbling on a slice of cucumber that is infused with cocktail flavours. It consists a subtly sweet taste and fairly cleansing effect on your body with the mezcal.
South of The Border ($18)
The Carlisle Bar is so clever to organise live entertainment for some bloggers like me, who are too shy to introduce themselves for the first time outside a monitor. It was lovely listening to Angelina Ciccotti sing, whilst Adrian Petlevanny plays the guitar.
Live entertainment featuring: Guitarist Adrian Petlevanny and singer Angelina Ciccotti |Photo credit to The Carlisle Bar
This bartender is just so happy making our cocktails he couldn’t hide his smile.
Adding a twist and garnish to our final cocktail.
For our final cocktail Blood & Sand ($18) – I was excited to taste the Chivas, Cherry & Herring, Anitca Formula, Ardbeg and fresh orange. It’s a drink that doesn’t have the most appetising of names, however this old fashion classic can bring to the table a little hint of smoke coming from the ultimate malt scotch whisky, Ardbeg. The aroma is breathtaking with the fruity floral sweetness however this beverage is best served for the mature audiences.
Blood & Sand ($18)
The most tender cut of beef would be the Beef tenderloin ($24) – This is a very special beef serving with bourbon jus and garlic crisps. I hear it has been rolled in mixed peppers before being barbecued. It’s known for its mild flavour and juicy succulence, however the meat itself is a tad hard to chew. But overall an absolutely fabulous finish to all tapas degustation.
Beef tenderloin ($24)
Cooked to perfection: Medium rare, just the way I like it.
So lucky to visit one of the VIP rooms.
Refreshments of Perrier water before we say our goodbyes.
It was almost the end of the night and the gorgeous Bonnie announced the winner of a social media competition. Basically food bloggers were busy snapping away and uploading onto Instagram in hopes of winning a night of luxury bottle service. It was The Gook who won due to endless likes by the end of the night on her Instagram. As for the rest of the food bloggers including myself, we didn’t leave empty handed. Each food blogger received $50 drink voucher. HOORAY !!!!!
With impressive split level venue : front bar, main club and VIP room. The Carlisle Bar is the perfect setting for after work or an endless night out. Designed to meet your desired experience with an added up-town Manhattan theme. It’s no surprise their cocktail and share menu is becoming a popular demand with 20 years of experience to The Carlisle Bar, celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas ensures every guests palates are pleased.
Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Sydney Food Blogger Cocktail & Tapas Degustation courtesy of The Carlisle Bar (opportunity provided by Bonnie Wu). Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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