09 January 2012

Design Bar by Classique Relaunch: Cocktails and Function Canapés, Surry Hills (7 Jan 2012)

St Margarets Urban Village
423-425 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Redesign of the Design Bar

Thanks to Natascha Moy from Limited Table for inviting me along to the relaunch of Design Bar which formerly used to be C-ique Design Bar. I'm told a complete overhaul of the cocktail and food menu has been introduced to tantalise the taste buds which is viewed via a tablet at the bar. There only seemed to be two menus available so I'm suspecting it could become a bottleneck for customers to see what they want to order though. On the speciality cocktail menu I tried the One Night In Paris ($20) with a lethal combination of Hennessy VSOP cognac, Danish Cherry Heering Liqueur, Cotes de Rhone red wine, cherry and chocolate bitters, served with ripe cherries and pieces of dark chocolate (Lindt 70%). It could easily become a dessert on its own although a little side dish for the cherry pips would have been appreciated. For those who like it even stronger go for the Cubanesque ($18) made with Nicaraguan rum, Western Indian falernum, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, zest of orange and Grand Marnier. A few of these will surely make you forget about work, and possibly who you arrived with too. To start with something a bit lighter and refreshing I'd suggest the Bella Vista ($18) with Prosecco, Aperol, lemoncello, orange bitters and blood orange sorbet. Be sure to mix it well before drinking to better balance the flavours.

As far as function canapés go they're definitely a cut above the usual fare in terms of presentation and flavours and it seems the chef is a huge fan of edible flowers for some reason. The tender and tasty Lamb Cutlets were a show stopper for me — I'd really love to get the recipe. The sizeable Smoked Salmon canapes would go down well as a flavoursome starter for any function and the Beetroot Gazpacho shots were something a bit different yet enjoyable. The Mini Burger had potential but was unfortunately let down by the slightly hard and oversized bun which needed two hands to eat. I'm told the kitchen is hoping to bake their own buns in the future which I think would be a good idea. I prefer the size of burger canapés to be a bit smaller like the Wagyu Penny Burger I had at the March Into Merivale Launch. To end with some sweetness the Mini Cheesecake and Jelly Shots were very good and contained noticeable alcohol for that extra happy kick to the palate.

PROS: Interesting and tasty canapes, Relaxed outdoor seating options, Quality cocktail ingredients, Designer furniture showroom, 3 levels of public car parking available underneath, Function space and catering available
CONS: Outside area needs to be cleared by 10 pm due to council restrictions, Sound restrictions due to residential area, Due to the complexity of cocktails there may be quite a wait at bar if busy
MUST TRY: Cubanesque and Bella Vista cocktails, Lamb cutlets, Jelly Shots

Drinks menu on tablet

Long Island Iced Tea ($20?), The Nightingale cocktail: Hendrick's gin, Pimm's No. 1, French Canton ginger liqueur, mint, lime juice, pressed lemon zests, ginger beer ($18)

Vita di Lusso: Aged grappa with Galliano l'Autentico and Zibbobo grape reduction syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, served with green seedless grapes and Prosecco-soaked Italian cheese ($20)

One Night In Paris: Hennessy VSOP cognac, Danish Cherry Heering Liqueur, Cotes de Rhone red wine, cherry and chocolate bitters, served with ripe cherries and pieces of dark chocolate ($20)

Cubanesque: Nicaraguan rum, Western Indian falernum, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, zest of orange, Grand Marnier ($18)

Bittersweetheart: Plymouth gin, Chambord, lemon juice, rhubarb bitters, home-made raspberry and rhubarb jam ($18)

Bella Vista: Prosecco, Aperol, lemoncello, orange bitters, blood orange sorbet ($18)

Tears Royale: Plymouth Slow gin, French St Germain elderflower liqueur, cranberry bitters, prosecco ($18)

Design Shots:
French Cheesecake Shot ($9) WORTH TRYING :-)
Sloe Jam Shot ($9)
Pirate Of The Carribbean Shot ($9)

Salmon function canape

Kingfish function canape

Mini burger

Lamb Cutlets function canape

Beetroot gazpacho function canape

Duck function canape

Cheesecake function canape

Jelly Shot function canape

Bar area

Outside courtyard seating

Photographer, musicians, bar staff and chefs in the kitchen

Bartenders Simon and James looking after the cocktails

Stairs to level 1 furniture showroom

Classique showroom

Decor features

Boys watch out if someone opens the door and a lady is walking past at the same time — you might be on show. I think a wall privacy screen would be appreciated in front and between the urinals.

Outdoor bar vibe

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Design Bar by Classique on Urbanspoon


Madam Wu said...

Bittersweet heart and Bellavista cocktails and the French Cheesecake shot rocked my world!

JasmyneTea said...

Yum, I love the look of the bittersweetheart and the beetroot gazpacho. Shame about the revealing toilets though :s

Simon Leong said...

hi madam wu, makes me curious to want to keep trying the other cocktails on the menu

hi jasmynetea, hopefully the girls toilets have better privacy :-)

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