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Bar Fly: Darlo Country Club

Sometime in the last five months, this bar found its groove.

Bubblegum flavoured margaritas have given way to cocktail classics, like Italy’s Negroni, Mexico’s Paloma or Britain’s East 8 Hold Up ($18). The latter is a refreshingly fruity mix of passionfruit, pineapple and lime spiked with Ketel One Vodka and a splash of Casoni 1814 Aperitivo Liqueur. They’re supplemented by a shorter list of cocktail originals, including the pretty Eton Fizz I enjoyed on my first visit, and a new, smoky mezcal-based, cherry number called La Cereza Ahumado ($21), which is better suited to the colder weather.

The menu has also had an update, with Peter Lew and Nicole Galloway from Barrio Chino stepping in with dishes inspired by a trip around the United States. They’re dishing up the Hawaiian raw fish salad, Poke ($16/4), on nori crackers with the soy-heavy bluefin tuna balanced by pickled ginger mayonnaise.

The Steak Tartare ($20) is where Lew and Galloway really kick things up to the next level, with the addition of bone marrow, smoked with maple chips. The marrow adds a rich, smoky edge to the well-seasoned eye fillet mix, topped with a quail egg, and counterbalanced by creamy celeriac remoulade. Smeared onto crostini, the resulting tartare is hard to beat, especially when accompanied with the Domaine Cornu-Camus Cotes de Beaune ($87).

It’s just one of the new French offerings on a wine list that’s being renewed by Restaurant Manager Thibault Bouclier. Being fruity with light tannins, this wine is also a winner with Nonna’s Balls ($17/3) – a trio of better-than-average pork and veal meatballs in a simple tomato passata, the acidity tamed with salted ricotta and buttery foccacia. This dish is brimming with garlic, and notable for not overcooking the porky meatballs – thanks Nonna!

Now if you’re craving food that’s more bar than restaurant, look no further than the Fried Chicken ($28). While they’ve made the ethical choice by using free-range chook, they’ve thrown calorific caution to the wind with duelling chicken gravy and maple butter. Slather them both on for a clucking good time!

While the lemon vinaigrette livens up Fried Brussels Sprouts ($10) hiding under a snowy dusting of Manchego, they’re probably a bit hectic alongside a super-cheesy Mac’n’Cheese ($8), especially if you're also devouring half a fried chook. Plus, you want to leave room for dessert, if only to lure the handsome French Restaurant Manager Thibault Bouclier back to your table to deliver a flaming Spiced Apple Pie ($16).

And who doesn’t like some at table theatrics involving flaming Calvados, especially when it lands on a pastry-topped spiced apple pie?

Bouclier knows just when to put out your fire too...

Darlo Country Club
235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (0449) 998 005

Note: You can see previous visits to this venue back HERE and HERE.

Darlo Country Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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