Take Me to Bed or Lose Me Forever
By Jackie McMillan
Not many date restaurants offer the opportunity to get in bed with your potential squeeze before you’ve even downed the first round of drinks – that’s definitely a point in Bed Bar and Restaurant’s favour. That said, co-owner Joanna Arbib (ex Mu Shu) tells me “the first week, it was really hard to get people into bed.” Part of me thinks this is the natural order of things - it should be hard to get a girl into bed, without a little wining and dining that is.
It only takes one cocktail for the softly lit, burnished gold padded booths to look awfully inviting – but I don’t want you to think I’m easy. I blame Bar Manager (and co-owner) Adam Arbib, and his potent update to the Cosmopolitan. The Sex-Cosmo In The City ($15) has everything you remember in terms of flavour, just smoothed down with vanilla vodka, caramelised lime and some vanilla pod shavings.
The critical moment of moving to the bedroom can be fraught with embarrassment. To avoid this, don’t come straight from work. Instead indulge in a leisurely shower then slip into fresh, matched socks. Protect your best laid plan (or your best plan to get laid) from becoming undone by a nasty odour, a dire need for a pedicure or unmatched football socks under your fuck-me boots. If there’s any awkwardness as you arrange yourself on your side of the bed, wrap your lips around a Butterfly ($13.50), another zany but successful combination of vanilla vodka, Limoncello, butterscotch schnapps and lemon. Trust me, I’m not a doctor.
Before my drink even has a chance to go to my head, a plate of Szechuan Salt / Pepper Prawns ($14) arrives with a Nam Jim dipping sauce. The plump, tasty prawns have just the right amount of heat and salt to help keep my drinking momentum up with a Sour Apple Martini ($13.50). As an omnivore and foodie, my eating is wide ranging and somewhat perverse, so I head directly to the Venison Samosa ($16). It comes with chocolate lentil sauce and vanilla corn bread, and lives up to the promise of weird but sufficiently entertaining.
If your date shudders at the mere thought of dead animals, there’s a range of dishes here to tempt her palate (in fact they’re even able to cater to vegan diners with a few days notice). The Pumpkin Risotto Cakes ($13) impressed with their accompanying sticky carrot jam and the regretfully small smear of blue cheese crème that glued them in place. The popular Seven Seed Salad ($13) dressed with Raspberry Oil and crunchy macadamias was quite sweet, but it won me in a heartbeat when I bit into a ball of deep fried cheese.
Chef Patrick Kielty excels in dishes where his Irish heritage shows. Don’t miss the Crispy Whisky Quail ($16) bedded on fried colcannon potato and a rich beetroot and onion mix; or the superb Crispy Pork Belly ($16). I’d also save room for the surprisingly substantial Vodka Cured Ocean Trout ($14) which Kielty balances atop a salmon fritter with a herbed cube of feta, on a handy crispbread base - any excuse to use my fingers…
The food here belies the fact that there’s a gimmick in play. In fact I’m sure if you just came and ate at the ordinary tables, you wouldn’t regret the trip. To further avoid regret, skip the heaving Dessert Tasting Plate ($18) in favour of a cleverly layered B-50 Chino ($8). And not just because it’s alcoholic – the caffeine contained within will enable you to make good on all those sexy promises you’ve been making under the table. You wouldn’t want a belly full of sweets to prevent you from partaking in the sweetest kiss of all…
Bed Bar and Restaurant
(02) 9332 2883