Carlisle Bar

Sunday, 2 March 2014

When I received the invite in my inbox, my interest was already piqued. Any mention of 'tapas' or 'cocktails' and I'm pretty much there with bells on. Tonight The Carlisle Bar was launching their new cocktail and bar food menu, much to the delight of myself and my fellow blogger compadres. The latest revamp of the Sapphire Lounge site, Carlisle is a newbie boasting 3 different bar areas which are also available for functions.  

A cocktail production line was in full swing for most of the night. A great action shot, photo credit: The Carlisle Bar

Starting with bubbles in hand, there was a nice relaxed environment in which to mingle. It was nice to see a mix of the old hands (of which I probably am one now) and newer bloggers on the scene. It was nice to swap recommendations and blogging advice.  What can I say but these are my people! As the first course was announced, cameras and phones were at the ready...

This course definitely brought it. Haloumi, home made by an 86 year old Greek yaya who 'supplies' only to a handful of Sydney venues. I think that just about seals the deal. The balsamic glaze was super sweet, but again that haloumi was so pillowy, with just the right amount of give. Really top notch

Clover Club cocktail (left) with Aviation gin, lemon, raspberry and egg white (photo credit: The Carlisle Bar) and of course that incredible haloumi again, up close and personal (right)

The event had gotten off to a great start and I couldn't help but wonder what an excellent marketing platform this was. Instead of hiring PR big wigs why not just invite a bunch of very snap happy bloggers?! Brilliant idea. The menu designed by chef Chrys Xipolitas is very easy to eat (logistically) and mixes together Mediterranean and Asian flavours. In a flurry of hashtags, a dSLR scrum and  chinking glasses we pondered the pros and cons of each dish. All accompanied by the sounds of a live band fronted by singer Angelina Ciccotti. 

With a short but tangible delay between courses, next was the crispy prawns. The prawns were under-seasoned by themselves but the dipping sauces made all the difference. The wasabi 'aioli' which everyone called the mayo was lovely but almost too light handed in the spice department. A little bit more and it would have been bang on

The beverage accompanying the battered prawns, Eastside fizz - Beefeater gin, lime, mint and Perrier water. Almost like a lemonade with a hint of gin, definitely my kind of cocktail and my favourite of the evening

Beef tenderloin - rolled in mixed peppers, barbecued and served medium rare with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps (left) and Spice Chicken - thigh fillets marinated in 'secret sauce' and BBQ'd (right). Unfortunately the beef looked a lot nicer than it tasted, which is not to say it was bad necessarily. It was cooked well but lacked any real flavour apart from pepper (photo: The Carlisle Bar). The chicken was a bit of a downer, being quite dry and bland but we shall move swiftly on...

To drinks! South of the Border cocktail with tequila (!), Mezcal, passionfruit, lime and vanilla. This one was a had a big (no huge) whiff of tequila in there. It definitely got better as you went. Credit: The Carlisle Bar

All in all, the night was a great success. A very hungry bunch of bloggers were treated to a sneak peek of what The Carlisle has to offer. Ignoring the fact I was still hungry after the 'degustation' (which it certainly wasn't), we left pretty well hydrated (if you know what I mean) and it was all served gratis. Definitely a bit of fun away from the stuffy 9 to 5. 

The main bar with its dramatic marble back drop

As always, thanks for reading!
The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. how good was that haloumi! Nice meeting you that night, might try to bake your choc and beetroot cake this weekend hehe.

    1. Likewise! It was a lot of fun. Enjoy the cake too!

  2. Dear CG,

    That Clover Club cocktail was pretty good and I think I had about 6 after a couple of hours.



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