The Carlisle Bar – Make Me A Porn Star
The Carlisle Bar – Make Me A Porn Star

The Carlisle Bar – Make Me A Porn Star

We’ll perhaps I didn’t exactly say that to the bartender at the Carlisle Bar, but that’s what he made me.

The Carlisle Bar

The Carlisle Bar

Mr GG and I were at the Carlisle Bar in Potts Point to attend the launch of the bar’s new tapas menu. At the end of the story TEN lucky readers will have the opportunity to sample some delicious cocktails courtesy of the Carlisle Bar and Gourmet Getaways.

Champagne at The Carlisle Bar

Champagne at The Carlisle Bar

As we arrived wait staff were busy serving sparkling wine to guests in the front “Workman’s Bar”. I happily accepted a glass and wandered through to the main bar.

Champagne and Candlelight

Champagne and Candlelight

Walking through we notice the Carlisle Bar has booth seating which wraps around a series of large tables. Perfect for a group of friends getting together for a few cocktails and a bite to eat. Obviously this is no accident as the new tapas menu has been designed around the concept of share plates and group platters.

On each of the tables the following selection was available to be enjoyed with the bubbly.

Tortila Chips w Avocado Dip

Tortilla Chips w Avocado Dip

I started with the fresh avocado guacamole and tortilla chips. I immediately imagined sinking into the comfy seats and kicking back for a drink or two.  The dip was exactly the type of dish I would serve at home for friends. It had so much flavor, full of lovely fresh herbs such as coriander, chilli and a nice tang of lime.

Trio of Dips - Carlisle Bar

Trio of Dips – Carlisle Bar

The “Trio of Dips Platter” included tzatziki, hommus and taramasalata with feta and olive. Each of the dips had a lovely flavor. I had to restrain myself when it came to the crusty bread and feta.  It would have been so easy to keep eating this combination, especially after I discovered the vegetarian teaser platter.  I was making myself many delicious combinations with the feta, chargrilled eggplant and capsicum.

Vegetable Antipasto Teaser

Vegetable Antipasto Teaser

The “Vegetarian Teaser” included the chargrilled eggplant that I couldn’t get enough of, zucchini, roasted capsicum, marinated artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes with olives.

Bar Area

Bar Area

Situated to the left of the booths was a long bar which stretched nearly the full length of the venue. Here bartenders were busy mixing cocktails to accompany the first tasting plate. The night was to be a tapas degustation with matching cocktails to accompany each tasting course.

Clover Club Cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail

The first plate to be presented was a Grilled Haloumi with Balsamic Reduction garnished with a split red grape. We were told the secret to this dish was in the making of the Haloumi. This very special cheese was sourced from an 86 year old Greek grandmother who only sells to three elite Sydney venues. I was skeptical, but on tasting I had to agree the flavour and texture was amazing!

Haloumi Tasting Plate

Haloumi w Balsamic Reduction Tasting Plate

The Haloumi was soft, milky, creamy, sweet and salty and just so impossibly springy and tender.  I have never tasted a haloumi as good.  The cheese had been grilled in butter and served with a syrupy vinegar reduction, delicious!

Clover Club Cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail

The accompanying cocktail was the Clover Club. Made with Raspberry, Gin, Lime and Thyme the cocktail was lovely and sweet, with a distinct, tart tang from the lime.  I really enjoyed the pink, frothy sweet bubbles, and the thyme added another dimension, tying in nicely with the cheese.

Moving further through the bar there is a slightly darker, even cosier section to the rear of the building. Here would be the perfect place to snuggle with a new boy. It’s a much more intimate set up. It would be ideal for sharing a cocktails in a private corner with your love, perhaps feeding each other some tasty tapas.

Salt & Pepper Prawn

Salt & Pepper Prawn

The second tapas course consisted of Salt and Pepper Butterflied Prawn Cutlet.  The dish was served with three dipping sauces – sweet chilli plum, soy teriyaki and wasabi aioli.  To accompany this salt and pepper prawn was a cocktail called the Eastside Fizz. It was described as a gin based version of a Mojito.  The ingredients were listed as gin, lime and mint.  It was a lovely refreshing cocktail and the lime was the perfect partner to the crispy fried prawn tapas.

Eastside Fizz

Eastside Fizz

The degustation continued with a Spicy Chicken tapas. Described as chicken thigh fillets, marinated in the chef’s secret sauce and BBQ’d.  The chicken pieces were lovely, very tender and moist, served with a simple garnish of coriander.

Spicy Chicken Tapas

Spicy Chicken Tapas

The accompanying drink was called South of The Border.  It was a Tequila based cocktail similar to a Margherita.  The cocktail was passionfruit flavoured and it seemed to be Mr GG’s favourite drink of the night. I noticed his glass seemed to magically replenish, which was fine because Tequila isn’t my favourite spirit so I didn’t care if he helped himself to mine. Although I think he thought I was too busy photographing to notice 😉

South of the Border Cocktail

South of the Border Cocktail

The final tapas course was a BBQ Beef tenderloin. The beef was cooked perfectly medium rare and was just oozing with moist, delicious flavor. It had been rolled in mixed peppercorns and herbs before it was barbequed to perfection, then served with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps.

BBQ Beef Tenderlion

BBQ Beef Tenderlion

The menu has been designed by celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas and is a combination of Asian and Mediterranean flavours. Benjamin Hickey was responsible for the matching cocktails and took his inspiration from ‘old New York’ favourites. His idea was to add a modern twist to cocktails such as Martinis, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. The specialty cocktails focus on the best gin and whiskey, pairing them with sweet and sour concoctions.

Gourmet Getaways Love the Carlisle Bar

Gourmet Getaways Love the Carlisle Bar

In The Workman’s Bar there was another bar tender hard at work. Anthony’s job was to mix a mystery cocktail between the tapas courses.  It was then up to guests to put their palate to the test and play a cocktail guessing game.  The aim was to guess as many of the ingredients in the cocktail as possible.

Guess the Cocktail Game

Guess the Cocktail Game

Throughout the night there were three cocktails made. My favourites were the Bramble and the Singapore Sling. It was a fun, but rather confounding exercises.  I am pleased to say I did quite well though.  I didn’t manage to guess any of the cocktails in their entirety, but I held my own. My downfall was in distinguishing which white spirit was used in each of the cocktails.

The Making of a Porn Star @ The Carlisle

The Making of a Porn Star @ The Carlisle Bar

Luckily I was in the right place to have a cocktail made especially for me. The lovely bartender in the Workman’s Bar had been testing me on my cocktail knowledge throughout the night and I felt he had a pretty fair idea of the type of drink I would enjoy.  I asked him to suggest a drink I would like.  He decided the drink for me was to be the Porn Star!

A Porn Star @ The Carlisle Bar

A Porn Star @ The Carlisle Bar

LOL! I imagine he suggested a Porn Star because it’s sweet!

Just like me 😉

The cocktail included Vanilla Vodka, Butterscotch Schnapps, passion fruit syrup and a bit of egg white to make it creamy and frothy on top. It was VERY Good!

Porn Star at the Carlisle Bar

Porn Star at the Carlisle Bar

The Carlisle Bar has such a lovely relaxed atmosphere with muted lighting and candles throughout.  It has a classic feel, or perhaps is defining a “new classic” style with a respectful nod to the past.

It certainly worth getting a group of friends together for a cocktail and tapas evening.

With that in mind I have a HUGE giveaway! If you would like to win the opportunity to try some cocktails at the Carlisle Bar I have TEN $50 drinks voucher up for grabs.

The vouchers must be used prior to the 31st March 2014, so this is a competition for Sydney readers, or those with a trip to Sydney planned. Sorry everyone else 🙁

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 5th March 2014, so there is not much time to get your entries in!

Good Luck everyone!

The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon

The Carlisle Bar

2 Kellet Street, Potts Point, NSW, 2011
Ph: 02 9331 0058
 

Gourmet Getaways was an invited guest of the Carlisle Bar. As always the opinions contained in this article accurately reflects our experience of the restaurant on the day.

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie

Comments

  1. What a marvelously fun and delicious night. That halloumi appetizer sounds especially fantastic. 🙂

  2. That looks like a really fun place to go. I love tapas. It looks like the lighting would favour me well too. Love the name of the cocktail! xx

  3. Julie you look beautiful! Sounds like this was a great event, would have loved to be there!

    Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au/

  4. Julie, the photos and video look fantastic!! I will definitely have to check it out!!

  5. Love the fact that they have a few veggie options 😛

  6. Nice review.

  7. Sorry I missed you on this last trip! But it sounds like you had a great time here 🙂

  8. They’ve got some pretty amazing looking things going on there, I can totally see why you loved it!

  9. The Bar looks so stylish as does the food and cocktails!!

    Would absolutely love to win one of the vouchers

  10. Great review Julie. The tapas looks delicious!

  11. Sorry that I’m thousands of miles away, the Carlisle Bar sounds like a great place to visit. Good luck to all that can enter, it sounds like you will have a lot of fun if you win.

  12. Looks a great spot… I would have had to be scraped off the floor after tasting a few cocktails… willd efinitely enter… sounds like a good spot for a regular girls get together friends and I do.

  13. Looks like the bartender was paying good attention to you…Your special cocktail looks like a sophisticated gourmet treat!

    The grilled haloumi and all the other tapas must have made it an especially tasty evening out for you and Mr. GG =)

  14. I have a feeling I’d like a porn star, too! What a great spread of tapas…I could skip all my meals and just munch of those fabulous dishes!

  15. Dang! Since I’m not a Sydney-sider, I’ll have to miss out of the giveaway! Oh well. I see that Haloumi is now often served in restaurants- looks like the new buzz-word, like ‘quinoa.’ I’ll have to come up with a new recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I’ve not heard of that cocktail — sounds interesting. And this sound like a fun place. Interesting read — thanks.

  17. Sounds like it was such a great night, shame I couldn’t make it. All the cocktails look fantastic, and the nibbles too.

  18. Ahhh you look stunning!!!!!!!!!!!! Sounds like you had a great time, and all the tapas (and drinks) look fabulous. Must have been a fun night! 😉

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