The Smoking Panda
5-7 Park Street, Sydney (02) 9264 4618 thesmokingpanda.com.au
I was eyeing up the maple and bacon-infused bourbon when a suit-clad silver fox sidled up to me and said: “If you drink that, every man in this bar will fall madly in love with you.” I stared into his eyes for a minute… and shuddered, opting for a cocktail instead. The Smoking Panda has a hip L.A. vibe to it, with a retro Chinese twist. The staff are friendly and flirty; there are jellyfish swimming in the walls; and it’s the kind of place where you just know you’re going to leave with a great story. If you’d rather a decent doughnut in your life than a man, let yourself fall madly in tipsy love with the Doughnut Martini ($17) – rum, bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch, garnished with deep fried dough. Soak up the liquid doughnut deliciousness with a few juicy grilled pork, maple bacon and chilli sliders ($7 each). Love’s overrated… but The Smoking Panda certainly isn’t.