Kittyhawk Bar Sydney

Rebecca Varidel
11th Jul 2016

"That's what happens when you have beer taps" Kittyhawk Groups Operations Manager Dre Walters responded when I wondered why so many blokes were drinking beer. Week 2 at new Kittyhawk Bar Sydney, Friday afternoon 5pm and the new joint from the Lobo Plantation team was already at capacity. At 6pm there was a queue to get in. But these beer drinking blokes were missing the good stuff. We're talking Kittyhawk cocktails wine and food and more.

Kittyhawk inspired by the Liberation of Paris on August 25th 1944 and the time when American GIs and exuberant Parisians partied together, celebrating freedom.

Inside the menu, pilot's flight operating instructions head the list, but then it is straight into the cocktails.

Heading the list, the signature 'Rum & Rye' announces "the reason we are all here" and rightly so as the cocktails throughout the first few pages of the green instruction manual are all delightfully considered, balanced, textured, exquisite. Where rum pervades Lobo Plantation, rye features heavily on this drinks list, so this combo makes a suitable entrée from an old favourite to a new. At Kittyhawk there's just one tequila cocktail, and one vodka drink, but who's counting? And even if we are we're not complaining.

The gin based Nose Art has perhaps the most French feel. My BFF (Bar Fly Friend) enjoyed both smooth as silk, frothy Memphis Bell and her favourite Blinky Bill. And my top pick is a beetroot cocktail, Beets By Dre, which enhances rum with both beetroot and beetroot syrup, and is topped off by a winning salt and vinegar half rim.

Last on the list is the Monte Carlo, the only classic cocktail in print, but these boys and girls know what they're doing so you can summon up a request for any of the classics which will be met with a well crafted drink.

Shots too are worth an occasional nod, with the new Kittyhawk paraphanernalia including shot glasses with a metal base complete with Kittyhawk engraving. Attention to detail is everywhere and the bar tools and cocktail shakers are heavy crafted pieces. They say a tradesman is only as good as his tools, which here is the proof in the pudding.

In keeping with the French theme, there is also a great list of Champagnes and wines including a very drinkable fine French rose by the glass.

And yes, there are draught and bottled beers.

In the kitchen, Scottish Head Chef Jason Wright has been joined by his colleagues Harry and Sean from STEAK Restaurant, P1 Edinburgh and they are turning out sensational food. Wright, a baker and pastry chef, is making his own bread and even puff. The Mussels Vol Au Vent ($12 for 3) are to die for and stand up on their own with the food from any top kitchen. The pastry is incredibly flaky and buttery. It wasn't a question when I checked 'if' it was made in house. Highlight the small sweet tender Kinkawooka mussles, a lovely white wine emulsion wets and balances the whole dish. Repeat, yes it is to die for.

Three choices of rolls, from spanner crab to Steak a la Gribiche round out a wonderfully classic yet versatile bar menu. Even the chips are hand cut sensational. The Parmesan fries come with truffle oil on the side, for dipping.

Wright & Co. are also presenting the most gorgeous Scotch Eggs I've eaten. In this case unctuous gooey runny-yolked duck eggs, with just the lightest Scotch casing. I suppose no-one would know better than he.

Rounding it all off, the service is exceptional. For a busy bar it's very personal. Time and time again, I note that as patrons leave their credit cards to start their tabs, they are greeted by the name on the card. Yet that's not all. Each order is provided with thoughtful assistance even in a busy bar with only the intention of supporting a good time. Other bars take note. The verdict? Kittyhawk Bar Sydney is a destination worth pursuing even when it means a short queue to get yourself inside. And that you must do!

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16 Phillip Lane

Mon – Thu 3pm – midnight

Fri -Sat 3pm – 2am