Smudge Eats: Darlo Country Club

[Originally published on Smudge Eats, January 2016]

Profile: Darlo Country Club, Sydney

- by Camilla Sampson

A little slice of the American Country Club good life, from the Hamptons to Beverly Hills, takes root in Darlinghurst.

Michael Hwang and Eddie Levy, the masterminds behind Sydney’s popular bar, The Lobo Plantation, have once again teamed up with The Island’s, Adam Abrams and Julian Tobias. After the success of their winter pop-up they’ve now come together to share a more permanent space, giving us Darlo Country Club.

Inspiration struck the team from America’s plush country clubs, bringing a little sporting-inspired luxury to Sydney. The emphasis is on premium service, presentation, and quality – as would be expected. The space itself is certainly impressive too. Seven-meter high ceilings boast strong beams, the walls are covered in soft linen panels, and a grand pastel pink entryway beckons customers in. It’s a spacious setting of relaxed grandeur for socialising, drinking, and dining.

The cocktail bar is what really draws people to Darlo Country Club. It features classic cocktails alongside inventive creations dreamed up on-site, all of which are finished with a little flair. The mixologists cater to a full ‘sensory interaction’, using flames and smoke for visuals, and wafts of delicious flavours to make your mouth water. The drinks menu features a biography for each cocktail, featuring an amusing end note that invites playfulness with the clientele including such comments as ‘…it’s like frolicking in a botanist’s garden’. A signature drink, the Bubbarita, uses bubblegum-infused tequila, topped off with grape citrus foam, and an orange blossom flame. The list also includes names such as Caddyshack, The Don, No Doubt, and Poolside.

The Americana theme also carries through into the restaurant section of the venue. There are sophisticated sliders filled with Wagyu beef or Hickory smoked beef brisket, which are then topped with fancy sauces like truffle mayo. Seafood offerings include ceviche, calamari, and the decadent DCC Lobster and truffle mac ‘n’ cheese.

To experience an exceptional and experimental cocktail list in a one-of-a-kind setting, Darlo Country Club is definitely the place to visit. The team have outdone themselves, and are keen to ensure that everyone is having a good time. There’s even room for a dance.

FoodCamilla Sampson