Two weeks ago, my sister texted asking if we were up for visiting a few bars that were in her list of birthday prospects. Silly question. We met her on King St and the night began.
The first thing we did was to have a brief look at some places and then decide where to start the drinking business. We viewed Corridor, Madame Fling Flong and Kuleto’s. Corridor was discriminated upon based on its size.
The happy drinking started at Kuleto’s. I had never been there, even when the list of emergency phone numbers, etc. that the real estate agency gave us when we moved here included it as one of their favourite cocktail bars.
We had a look at the menu downstairs and then headed upstairs. It was cosier but also had a different menu, with more expensive drinks. No thanks, we just want a cheap drink :)
The cocktail list is big enough to cater for all tastes. From the classics to the “desserts with alcohol”, the menu apparently covers it all and with moderate prices. Gladys ordered a Hawaiian Splice (tropical mix of melon liqueur, coconut liqueur & vanilla Galliano, topped with pineapple juice & layered cream), Alvaro a Honeycomb Delight (smooth combination of butterscotch Schnapps & Baileys blended with mangoes & a splash of coconut cream) and I got a less caloric Legless (peach liqueur & tequila shaken with crushed lemonade).
Hawaiian Splice ($14.50)
Honeycomb Delight ($14)
The drinks were great. Low in alcohol like all cocktails in Australia, but with good taste. The only downside of hanging out in Kuleto’s is the lack of food. They do sell pizza, crisps and peanuts, but if you want “real” dinner you must have it somewhere before or after drinks.
Then we went to Madame Fling Flong, upstairs from Soni’s restaurant. The old furniture makes it feel more serious, almost like being in your grandma’ lounge room. Not my style but much better than fancy-expensive places. After the sweet cocktails we had at Kuleto’s, Gladys and I decided that round two would be wine. She had a glass of sparkling (Pinot Noir/Chardonnay) and I a glass of blended red (Shiraz/Cab Sav/Malbec/Petit Verdot). Alvaro only likes sweet drinks, so he had another cocktail, this time a Sleepless in Sydney (organic vodka, Tia Maria, Frangelico & a shot of espresso shaken with Freddy’s Honey Syrup).
Sleepless in Sydney ($.14.5), 08 Bleasdale Shiraz/Cab Sav/Malbec/Petit Verdot from Swan Valley, WA ($5.5), NV ‘Emily’ Brut Cuvee Pinot Noir/Chardonnay from King Valley, VIC ($6)
Just when we started drinking I read the specials blackboard and realised there was sangria by the glass, too. Next time.
Next to the cutlery, glasses and jugs of tap water there’s a jar full of wasabi peas and small plates. I served ourselves a big heap of peas and we relaxed with our drinks.
The next stop was the Marlborough Hotel. I had been once or twice there, but only downstairs. We decided to have a look at the other areas and found out that the place is huge. We hung out a bit upstairs (in the Level One bar) but the music was too loud, and went back downstairs (to the Marly bar).
Being this the last stop of the night, it was almost obvious that we’d finish with beer. Thankfully, they have decent beers on tap, including three James Squire (Golden Ale, Amber Ale, and Sundown Lager).
Gladys had a Golden Ale, I had an Amber Ale and Alvaro, feeling that the espresso cocktail wasn’t working for him, had a Red Bull.
James Squire Golden Ale, James Squire Amber Ale, Red Bull
At that point we were getting hungry and ordered a plate of wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream. You may think wedges are wedges everywhere, but I think you can effectively assess the quality of a kitchen through its wedges. Just kidding! Wedges were fine, with plenty of sweet chilli sauce and sour cream that would have been enough for an extra half-serving of spuds.
Wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream ($7.5)
Gladys and I drank another round of James Squires before leaving. Gladys took a bus and we walked home. On our way we were faced with the same old dilemma of walking by the only eatery that’s opened til late and being a bit hungry. We couldn’t help it and entered Dean’s Diner. This time, instead of a burger and chips we tried something different. I have always been curious about the pastries in the hot display that are labeled “Spinach and cheese things”. They didn’t look greasy (like other items around them), so we ordered that, plus a slice of pizza.
The spinach and cheese thing was very good. It wasn’t greasy and the flavour was spot-on.
Spinach and cheese thing
The pizza with unknown topping tasted like cheap pizza, but IMO a tad better than fast-food-chain pizza.
Slice of pizza
I almost never drink bottled juices or soft drinks, but this time I was thirsty and craving something sweet. We washed the food off with a bottle of mango & dragonfruit sparkling mineral water from the Old Fashioned drink factory, which I must say matches the vibe of the eatery quite well.
Mango & dragonfruit sparkling mineral water
Kuleto’s Cocktail Bar
157 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 6369
Madame Fling Flong
1/169 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9565 2471
145 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9519 1222
385 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042