Where: 565 Bourke Street, Surry Hills 2010
Opening Hours: Fri & Sat nights or by private booking for breakfast, lunch & dinner
Phone: 02 9360 4714
The Carrington, long the after-work haunt for those in-the-know, has opened the Apartment, a small bar on the first floor. Originally the pub's staff quarters, it is a cosy and clandestine nook for those who prefer a little more quirk with their quaff.
Here, the 1970s are alive, expect burnt orange walls, macrame wall hangings and seagrass matting. And if the recent television renditions of Australia in the 70s (Puberty Blues and Howzat!) have piqued your penchant for lazy lunches and bell bottoms, the Apartment is your satirical Spanish solution.
On the tree-lined southern stretch of Bourke Street, the Carrington has an elegant Spanish approach, and its latest space is no exception. The walls of the Apartment are crammed with Hispanic objets d’art, and the jumble of framed matadors, wedding photos and crucifixes are playful conversation starters among amigos. Squint your eyes and through the tangerine haze you can almost see Bianca Jagger lolling on the red vinyl banquette with a Moritz cerveza in hand. Except that here, lame is replaced with leather and flares with skin-tight skinnies (although the hot pants have, curiously, survived).
The bar itself is kitsch and kitchen-like — with a laminate island bench, paisley-print fridge and mandala tiles. Snare a table in the dimly-lit dining area and get disco diva with a cocktail. Consider the Single Mother ($10), with Southern Comfort, red wine, nutmeg and ginger beer. The Aperolling with the Bulls ($17) is a piquant pleasure with Aperol, pomegranate, cranberry and lemon. 'Your mother' jokes somehow sound sexier in Spanish, and you will, too, after a Tu Madre ($17) with gin, elderflower liqueur and blackberry jam. Lager lovers will praise the choice of Spanish and Australian beers, many available on tap. And if your taste in vino is less than Latino, you will savour the Apartment's respectable selection of Australian and New Zealand drops.
The Apartment, slick with Spanish irony and seriously good tipples, is a Surry Hills flat you won't have to enter a bidding war to get your name on the lease and a flat you just won't want to leave.
By Zoe Bechara
The Aperolling with the Bulls
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