Posted by KB on February 7, 2011
We’ll forgive you if you haven’t been down to Darling Harbour lately. After all, it’s easy to dismiss it as the realm of the tourist and the school group. But if bar openings over the past couple of years are anything to go by (think Grasshopper, Grandma's, Good God Small Club), the city is heading for a reinvigoration. Plus, it’s about time we stopped taking those lovely harbour views for granted.
To give you a little nudge in the right direction, we’re giving you the chance to win a $100 bar tab courtesy of Helm Bar. On February 26, Helm are hosting a party to celebrate the launch of their Lower Deck area, and to mourn the end of summer. There’ll be a seafood barbecue, music and, of course, that cracking view. Should you be lucky enough to win, the bar tab will be yours to spend on the day, so start thinking about which of your friends have been the nicest to you lately.
To enter, email us with your full name and phone number. Of course, you’ll need to be over 18, and you’ll need to be signed up to Kluster. Entries close February 22. Please note the bar tab is only redeemable on Sat Feb 26, so clear your diary.
Posted by kluster on December 21, 2010
It seems that no sooner were we bemoaning the lack of a decent beer garden in Sydney than our prayers were answered in the form of The Norfolk, which has (re)opened just in time to be the Christmas present we were hoping for. Taking over what was well and truly a pub past its prime, team James (Wirth and Miller) has revamped and reinvigorated this Cleveland Street venue, revealing what will be the place to be this summer. We caught up with one half of the team in the wake of the launch.
Covered: sleepless nights, untapped potential, beer gardens and queer Mexican dance parties.
Kat Hartmann: The Norfolk opened to the public with a bang last week. I hear it was a bit of a process getting the bar from old-man dive to the retro European-inspired, rancho relaxo you unveiled. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Jaime Wirth: We basically had eight weeks to get the place from derro pokie pub to where it is now. We had really great builders and tradesmen but it was a pretty mad scramble at the end to get it open. There was 20 years worth of crap to get out the place, walls to paint, roofs to build, floors to replace, seats to install and trees to plant. Sleepless nights, very early starts and some tense moments but we managed to stick to our opening date. Phew.More...
Posted by KB on December 21, 2010
It’s Sunday night. Not a night for drinking per se, but a night for enjoying a drink. Really taking the time to savour the flavour. And where better to indulge in a school-night tipple than a bar that puts its all into crafting the perfect cocktail.
So we duck into the Kirketon Hotel on Darlinghurst Road, skipping the bustling Art Bar at the front and instead heading down a dark corridor past the bathrooms. Our efforts are rewarded with the kind of cocktail bar you’d only expect to find in films. It’s dim without being dingy, all dark wood and decadent decor, with leather banquettes for pulling smooth moves or stools at the bar for pouring your heart out to the bartender when it all goes pear-shaped.
Seeking something strong, we opt for the Smoky Rob Roy (listed as owner Sven’s signature drink), a mix of Talisker single malt and Lagavulin whisky, given depth with cigar-infused rum, Vermouth and orange bitters. The Scacco Matto (Don Julio Reposado, Kahlua, Frangelico and chocolate bitters) is like honey in a glass, perfect for this cold and rainy night.More...
Posted by kluster on October 6, 2010
The Green Room Lounge are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a complimentry glass of vino for you and a friend. To enter simple email us. Subject: Vintage & Vino.
This Kluster Founder is an Inner-West resider from the days when weekly rental amounts sat comfortably in the double digits. From when Sydney shunned the prevalent shoelessness of the area’s residents and the facades of the 20th century, two-story buildings that lined King Street and Enmore Road, presented as if they had not be graced with a lick of paint since their erection, all those years ago. Like many others, I have watched the area morph and transition into something of a Sydney destination. Some aspects of which I despise, many others I embrace.
One new addition that falls into the latter (love) category is The Green Room Lounge on Enmore Road. The newest bar on Enmore Road - and first decent small drinking hole, we might add – was opened by textile designer, Tandarra Rothman, and director at Adam Spencer Enterprise, Melanie Spencer, with a celebrity-filled bang in late August. Since the doors were first flung wide the guest tone has lowered a little to include the likes of many mere non-celebrity mortals but the service standards and atmosphere have remained high.More...
Posted by Miss Kat Jade on July 4, 2010
On a recent trip to Melbourne this Kluster writer happily indulged in a meal at the Good Food Guide hatted restaurant (two to be exact), Cutler and Co.
Located in the bohemian suburb of Fitzroy, Cutler and Co's dining room combines comfort with familiarity and understated sophistication. Inside the long, gently lit room a semi-open wine store holds more than 1300 bottles. Considering the breadth of their selection it stands to reason that the role of sommelier at Cutler & Co would be filled by an individual who is suitably confident across a range of vino. The aforementioned individual, Sally Humble, was appropriately knowledgeable and accommodating in helping us choose a bottle of Alsace Riesling to accompany our eight course Chef's degustation.
The combination of flavours was generally quite traditional (think: duck with plum), it is the execution that makes this dining experience exciting. Executive chef Andrew McConnell combines high-quality produce to create a multitude of textures in his dishes. Layering taste-upon-taste to create a range of delicately balanced dishes. More...
Posted by KB on May 20, 2010
Just in time for the chilly winter weather, the streets of East Sydney have revealed another cosy hidey-hole for enjoying warming lunches and post-dinner drinks.
Stanley Street Station, which sits on the corner of Stanley and Crown Streets in East Sydney, launched last week with a bang – a night of music, food and cocktails. As we sipped our Moore Club cocktails (a tart pink tribute to Lord Mayor Clover Moore), DJ Money Man and the burlesque-looking songstress Anikiko made sure we were entertained. Food came in the form of mini-mes from the full menu: sautéed school prawns with aioli, beef cheek and shitake pies and lemon tarts.
We snuck back in the next day to see what Stanley Street Station looked like without the roaring crowd, and found a bright, airy dining space, with a couch corner perfect for canoodling. The lunch/dinner menu is a small, but comprehensive, list of larger dishes, plus a good selection of “smalls”, perfect for bar snacking or sharing with a group.
Keep your eyes peeled for the specials too. We nabbed a totally rockin’ smoked salmon and grilled vegetable sandwich on rye for a measly $8.50. If that’s not awesome value, we don’t know what is.
Stanley Street Station can be found on the corner of Stanley and Crown Streets, East Sydney.
You can get lunch and dinner Mon-Sat from noon-midnight and Sundays noon-11pm.
Breakfast is served Sat-Sun 8am-2pm.
Posted by Miss Kat Jade on March 23, 2010
Vacationing in Vancouver recently, this Klusterette was introduced to The Diamond: a cocktail bar and restaurant nestled in Maple Tree Square, slap bang in the heart of historic Gastown. Hidden on level two, this chandelier lit gem is owned by Mark Brand, Josh Pape and Sophie Taverner (hailing from our home town Sydney). With serious cocktail and food credentials between them, we knew we were in for a ride.
In an impressive room with hardwood floorboards, full-length arch windows and exposed brick archways, we were seated at long communal tables to peruse the well-priced menu of Asian-style sharing dishes ($3-$13 per plate). We started with aromatic pork gyoza dumplings, surrounded with sesame and spring onion sauce, moving onto Moorish and fresh lightly salted edamame beans with prawn, cabbage and roe betel leaves. The pickled beats, quail egg salad and duck sub were extraordinary. Don’t let the small prices deceive you - the portions are well rounded. More...