Address: 2 Kellett Street, Kings Cross NSW
Tel: (02) 9331 0058
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Located across the road from Kings Cross Station, The Carlisle has a small older style front bar with Tuscan features, a lighter wood and glass private room at the back and a large, dark yet elegant main bar with a Marble bar and coloured lights.
Front bar (Workman’s bar)
Each room has its own bar with a distinct style, so it wasn’t hard to find a cosy and comfortable spot to sit.
The live entertainment by singer Angelina Ciccotti and her guitarist Adrian Petlevanny was fantastic and we enjoyed Angelina’s powerful voice and soulful ballads, a mixture of pop, rnb, soul and rock.
As we entered, we were greeted by waiters with trays of champagne. The champagne was sweet with subtle floral and fruity flavours which made it easy to drink and palatable for someone who is not an avid wine drinker.
Throughout the night there were cocktail guessing games held in the front bar where bloggers could try to guess the ingredients used in each cocktail.
A social media competition was also held with a special prize of a night of bottle service being won by The Gook for her instagram photo which received the most likes.
Celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas designed the menu, combining Asian and Mediterranean flavours and sourcing high quality ingredients such as a secret haloumi which is made by an 86 year old yia yia (grandmother) and which is only distributed to three people in the whole city!
Bar manager Benjamin Hickey created some exciting cocktails for us including martinis and gin and whiskey-based drinks paired with sweet, sour and spiced flavours.
We kicked off the food with some excellent starters:
- Tortilla chips with fresh avocado, coriander chilli and fresh lime
- Carlisle Plate with trio of dips, marinated olives, feta, crusty bread and pita
- Vegetarian Teasers: chargrilled eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, marinated artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, olives with pita and crusty bread
Of all the starters, my favourite had to be the amazing chunky chilli and lime guacamole with the original salted chips.
Unfortunately, the low light was the big chunk of raw garlic I bit into when eating the Mediterranean vegetables- yuck!
Overall, a pretty decent start to the night and we were looking forward to more!
First up on in the mini degustation was the Grilled Haloumi topped with Balsamic Reduction and purple Grapes. This haloumi was just divine. Delicious. Mouth watering. Simply, the best damn cheese I have ever tasted!
It was better than any brie, any camembert or roquefort, it was creamy, smooth and not the slightest bit chewy. The sweet grape and tangy balsamic reduction were the perfect complements and the presentation was spot on. A must-try dish for any self-confessed cheeseaholic.
The cocktail that was paired with the dish was the Clover Club, a gin, lemon, raspberry and egg white concoction which was super sweet and smelt of rosemary.
The second course was a Lightly Floured Prawn Cutlet with three dipping sauces- sweet chilli plum, soy teriyaki and wasabi aioli.
The prawns were crunchy and well cooked, they were not at all overdone or dry in my opinion. The salt and pepper style batter was light and crunchy.
Of the three options, I only got to try the soy and wasabi sauces, both were unique and interesting in their own way and I especially enjoyed the wasabi mayonnaise which was delicate and subtly flavoured.
To go with this dish we enjoyed the Eastside Fizz, a beef-eater gin, lime and mint cocktail featuring sweetener and water. The drink was light and refreshing, great with the fried prawns.
Third course was a marinated BBQ spicy chicken thigh fillet with chef’s “secret sauce”. The chicken was a little dry and nothing special, but was otherwise tasty and enjoyable.
The dish was paired with the South of The Border cocktail which contained tequila, mezcal, passionfruit, lime and vanilla. Tequila is a little too strong for me and like the dish, the cocktail was OK but nothing spectacular.
For the final course we were served beef tenderloin rolled in mixed peppers, barbecued and served medium rare with bourbon jus and garlic crisps.
The beef was cooked well and was tender and just a little above medium rare. The garlic crisps were tasty and added some crunch to the sweet barbecue soy dish.
The Blood & Sand cocktail featuring chivas, cherry and herring, antica formula, ardbeg and fresh orange (some ingredients I had never heard of), was pleasant to look at but a little strong so I could only drink half of it, even though MC and I shared as he was driving that night.
Overall, the event was a great taste of the fantastic dishes on offer at The Carlisle.
The guacamole and haloumi were standouts but I also enjoyed some of the cocktails, the great music and the cool spots to hang out. Other items on the menu which caught my eye included the Carlisle Skewers, Soft Shell Crab and Lychee Martini.
I would rate my experience (out of 10):
- Service- 7
- Food- 8
- Atmosphere- 7.5
- Value – 7
TCFB and MC attended the event as guests of The Carlisle.