The Owl House’s new digs on Victoria Street manage to keep the same cosy ambience as the former Crown Street bar. Rather than a narrow terrace, it’s now a dugout bar, tucked between Monkey Magic and Darlinghurst’s best sourdough pit stop, Infinity Bakery.
Owner Amir Halpert has cleverly kept the gang together, transplanting both his chef and his bar manager Owen Davies, as well as the very bar he served behind, over to the new space.
It’s nice to walk into a new space where everyone already knows your name, and have your post-work beverage of choice – the Corpse Reviver # 2 – lined up on the bar waiting.
After it strips away the remains of the day from my palate, I move onto Mezcalin ($19). With smoky mezcal and plum jam balanced by lime, a swirl of tobacco syrup and a rosemary salt rim, it’s the perfect slow sipper against a meandering Cheese Board ($29/3 cheeses) adventure. We opt for a tale of three cows, with a washed rind Pont L’eveque from Basse-Normandie, a Saint Agur blue cheese and a British semi-hard Larder & Co Oak Smoked Cheddar from Devon, against lavosh, muscatels and honeycomb.
A homely Charcuterie Board ($21) with house-made mortadella and rillettes rounded out with jamón Serrano, is served with toast, pickled onions and cornichons.
The toast to charcuterie ratio is out, but it’s an easy fix with a Daily Baked Bread ($5) add-on, accompanied by Hilal’s za’atar and local olive oil.
On this visit I was a bit more interested in drinking a smooth, butter-infused Bulleit bourbon Buttered Fashion ($24) than exploring the newly extended wine list. We also left the wider menu alone sufficing with some Pambula Oysters ($4/each) served both au natural, and with the house dressing – a mignonette granita that worked out nicely too.
The big question will be how does my favourite bar perform at brunch? The lure of a breakfast cocktail means I’ll undoubtedly bring you some news on that front before the year is out...
The Owl House
292 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9357 5060
NOTE: You can read a previous review of this venue in their old location back HERE.