Where: 413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 5pm – late, Friday 5pm – midnight, Saturday noon – mindnight
Phone: (02) 9360 6991
Since opening in 2007, Emmilou’s has gained a solid reputation for serving up great tapas and cocktails. Space, however, has always been a bit of an issue for the bite-sized restaurant. Now, they’ve expanded to welcome Bar Lou Lou, located in their recently renovated back room. Emmilou’s is still the place to go for a substantial, sit-down meal; but if you’re more interested in kicking back on a sofa with a cocktail and some finger food, then Bar Lou Lou is for you.
The killer cocktail list is changed seasonally. Split into two parts, you can choose drinks from either the Revolution (fresh and feisty) or the Inquisition (serious and strong). If your taste runs to the sweeter side of things, order the Loulita ($16). Made with vodka, Aperol, St. Germain, lemon juice, and Peychaud’s bitters, it’s deliciously light and comes topped with beaten egg whites, which add a glorious creaminess and texture. Another winner is the Capiloma ($16). Calle 23 Tequila, lemon juice, Capi Pink Grapefruit soda, Benedictine, simple syrup and a hint of chili all come together to cure you of even the roughest of days. Our favourite is the Andalusia ($16). Made of Beefeater gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, rosewater and Manzanilla Sherry, it’s so fragrant you’ll think you’re drinking perfume.
The ideal light accompaniment to help ease you into your drink is the fresh sourdough with olive oil and chutney ($4). Feeling peckish? Then order a few of the tapas style dishes. Start with the zucchini flowers with goat’s cheese and truffle honey ($11). It’s one of Lou Lou’s superstars. Delicately fried, the flowers are creamy and seasoned to perfection. The paella balls with chorizo, saffron and aioli ($12) are also a crunchy, filling, stand out. If it’s full-throttle flavour you’re hankering for, you can’t go past the chicken liver parfait with Earl Grey prune jam and toast ($15). The parfait — which is pate’s smoother, slightly lighter and silkier brother — is heartbreakingly rich and buttery.
Once you’ve had a few cocktails, your thoughts will turn to Lou Lou’s hamburguesas (sliders). There are a few to choose from: prawn, chipotle mayo, cucumber and coriander; pulled pork, red cabbage and apple coleslaw; and fried chicken, spicy mayo and pickles (all $8). Make ours the one with chorizo, Spanish pickles, manchego and aioli.
If you just can’t get enough of Emmilou’s, then sign up for their cocktail masterclass (check the website for courses and times). You’ll find out how to make some of their signature cocktails before learning how the art of balancing flavours and creating your own drinks. Sounds good to us.
Good For Groups: