With “Make Food Not War” neon leading into the Lebanese street food dugout bar; huge murals of Middle Eastern people in the cocktail bar; and a flight path map centralising the Middle East across the dining room; Kazbah’s Potts Point empire might be just what we need.
Two minutes after walking in the door Brett Harris (ex-Hello Sailor) had me laughing, and loving La Perla ($18). It’s a unfolding blend of Manzanilla sherry, reposado tequila and pear liqueur with a lemon twist, and my pick of his clever list.
Nestled beneath five giant table lamps in the ultra-modern Deutsche Bank Place foyer, I find myself smiling.
A predictable place to start drinking in a Spanish bar de tapas might be with an aperitivo, such as a Pisco Sour. Or if you have the taste for it, like me, a good Spanish start, might be sherry.
After Tajine tucked in a difficult corner of Republic 2; and Souk in the City on the windy expanse of St Margarets, I’m hoping it’s third time lucky for personable owner Omar Majdi. Rather than austere modernity, this time he’s gone for bobbing boats and the gently lapping waves of Middle Harbour.
Step into this red-lit cellar for an inspired introduction to sherry. Here it’s not just an accessory to food - though their offerings leave most of Sydney’s tapas for dead - but an end in itself. Leave yourself in the hands of an aficionado - owner Frank Dilernia’s opening La Bota di Fino No 27 ($14/glass) was such a gentle introduction to sherry, I went back again with dessert.
“For fifty dollars in Foley Lane you’ll be well satisfied,” Nathan Moses quips. For a derivatives trader, he makes a pretty fly bar owner. He’s opened this clinically stylish newcomer with his “forever” friend, Julian Marchetto. It’s well-considered, down to table height that suits both sitting and leaning; and staffed by a crack team of experts.
It’s hard not to smile at the riotous colours adorning this Darlinghurst hotspot. It’s named for Pedro Almodóvar’s Kika, a film that employed the fashion sensibilities of Gaultier and Versace.
Last month I attended a great event at the Electrolux showroom put on by the Japan Foundation, showcasing three female chefs from the Echigo Tsumari region in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Mayu Hasegawa highlighted seasonality and the medicinal nature of food in a wonderfully rich exploration of food and culture. She thinks that as home cooks, our role is to look after the health and wellbeing of our families. While you ponder that, here is a range of good value meals to suit all budgets available all over town this March.
Over screaming I want my summer back? Let’s try to adjust. Leaves have been spotted falling from the trees, meaning autumn is right around the corner. Let’s just make the best of the hand we’ve been dealt…