- Bells of St Clementine- (Aperol, Absolut Vanilla, Absolut Citron, Lemon Juice) this was stunning. The creaminess of the Vanilla vodka mixed with the tang of the lemon juice made it taste like one of those sherbie lollies (but not as sickly sweet as a lolly, of course.) I could live on this drink. (new)
- Garden Party- (Gin, Hibiscus, Cointreau) Tastes as pretty and airy as it looks. Normally I'm not a fan of gin-based cocktails (despite Gin being the best cocktail base) because I don't like the dryness and the bitey after taste, but the cointreau and hibiscus in this drink cancel it out making it a delight to drink. (new)
- Pink Ginger- (Radish, Gin, Lemon, Ginger Liqueur) This sounds as though it would be strong and bitter, and admittedly I am a big fan of ginger, but it was surprisingly alot sweeter than it's ingredients would suggest. My friends and I decided that this one tasted most like an Amaretto Sour, but ginger- duh. Definitely refreshing, but not something to order if you don't like ginger.
- Peachy Keen- (Peach liqueur, Bombay Sapphire, Earl Grey Syrup, Rose) You can tell from the name how delicious this one is. Any tannins the tea might posses cut through the sweetness of the Peach liqueur making them the perfect combination for this cocktail.
- Full Monty- (Montenegro, Sauterne, Vanilla, Soda) This was a nice, long drink to end the night on. Rich in flavour and comfortable on the palette, it accompanied all our food very well. A good choice for the undecided mind or for those with neutral tastes.
Although I'm sure there will be many more to add to that list once the bar is open.
Current menu favourite- Flower Fizz (Rose, Hibiscus, Sparkling Wine)
As for food, we were treated with a number of different goodies. The great thing about coming to this bar is you know you can get a decent feed as well as a good drink, not just one or the other.
With our first drinks we enjoyed garlic marinated olives and spiced nuts. This was followed by a smokey confit duck liver pate topped with a Madeira Jelly served with herbed toasts.
This was followed by Hummus with toasted flat bread. I don't recall eating much of this so it must have been delicious and was gobbled up quickly by my friends! That's always a good sign.
The flat bread had a certain sweetness to it and was a nice consistency.
Sauteed Squid & Chorizo and Confit Trout with a Beetroot Mousseline came next, but unfortunately I am allergic to seafood so I couldn't try these. Well, I did sneak a bit of chorizo and some of the Mousseline off the top of the trout and beetroot dish as I just couldn't resist that incredible red colour.
My absolute faves came out last. Pork Belly and mini Wagyu burgers. Do I even need to explain? Yes.
OK, let me tell a story about pork. I don't like it as a general rule. Nothing in particular about it, I just decided when I was little I wouldn't eat it. (In sausages, hot dogs, sausage rolls, other kinds of mystery meat are the exception. I don't like eating it in 'solid' form) However, a few years ago, while dining at Becasse (Another of Justin North's fabulous, multi-award winning restaurants) Crispy skinned Pork Belly was served as part of a set menu. I didn't want to be a brat, so I just decided to eat it. I'm SO glad I did. It's evident to me that Pork cooked in a Justin North restaurant is far superior to any other pork in the entire world. Yep. It's science, don't fight it.
So I was thrilled to get to have some again last night as the last time I had it was on Melbourne Cup day.
It's so very delicious, I'm not sure what herbs are used, but initially it's very salty and then as you chew, further flavours are released and...I can't even type, my mouth is watering so much.
Mini Wagyu burgers are fairly self explanatory, except for the fact that these were- and you know I don't use this word ever so that it doesn't lose it's meaning- AMAZING.
The best way I can think to describe these is going to sound odd. But you know when you're drunk, like, 4am-been-drinking-for-10-hours-drunk and you buy a burger/kebab/slice/hotdog and at the time you feel like it might be the greatest thing you've ever consumed?
These burgers invoke the exact same feeling! The best part though, is that you're not drunk and you're not standing outside Kings Cross Maccas with your stilettos in your hand.
I could have eaten one million of these burgers. They were perfection.
So that completes my rundown of some of the food and drink at the new bar. The official launch is next week so after that it will be open ready for you to go nuts and eat heavenly food and drink beautiful cocktails.
Make sure you check it out, I don't just harp on about these things for the hell of it. I really do want you to eat well and enjoy life like I do!
Etch Restaurant and Bar
62 Bridge Street, Sydney
(02) 9247 4777