Smudge Eats: Della Hyde

[Originally published on Smudge Eats, January 3rd 2016]

Bar Profile: Della Hyde, Sydney

- by Camilla Sampson

Sit back and enjoy classic and innovative tipples in the quirky surroundings of a Wes Anderson–inspired hotel lobby on Oxford Street.

Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll are the lads behind Applejack Hospitality, which has provided us with the likes of Bondi Hardware and Kirribilli Botanist. Earlier this year they teamed up with General Manager, Joe Worthington, to try something a bit special and a bit different, with their new venue, Della Hyde.

At Della Hyde, the focus is on drinks, with interiors, atmosphere, and service full of flair too. Putting the fun back into hospitality the new space is a nod to Wes Anderson’s understated flamboyancy, with a vibe of old-world hotel lobby charm, branding inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel and plenty of pastel hues. The experience is almost rose-tinted. Details are playful, with the bar tabs in the form of a hotel room key with a “please return to…” sign.

The move to Darlinghurst was inspired by the creative studios, top end residential housing and a great mix of small bars and restaurants already in the area. They jumped at the opportunity to be located somewhere that they could have more fun, be more creative, and push more boundaries than elsewhere in the city.

Plush leather booths, high stools, a “Life is Fantastic” poster and Anderson details make the place more than just about the drinks. However, they’re definitely a solid reason to go. Della Hyde serves up cocktails right through to the early hours, with a side of great music and plenty of space to sip on your concoction. Seasonal and fresh cocktails are created by Lachy Sturrock and Joe, but Joe notes that all the managers are keen to come up with ideas. The menu changes every two weeks to ensure they’re using the best and freshest seasonal produce. As Joe said, “we need all the creative brain power we can get!”

The Count Negroni Cold Drip has been getting plenty of attention, as has the Sparkling Strawberry Daiquiri. Yet it’s best to just get down there and check it out, with the aforementioned fortnightly changing menu. Sip on your innovative or classic cocktail with a side of European and North African influenced food. The initial aim was to match delicious snacks with their cocktails, but the team ended up creating food to rival their other restaurants. Filo pastry pizza and Moroccan-spiced ribs are favourites, while you can’t beat a three-cheese toastie at 11pm.

Head down to Della Hyde to be whisked into a new experience in the city. The drinks are on point but it’s also about the interiors, the music and the food. Be sure to ask the staff for their recommendations, as they brimming with flavour combination knowledge. It’s the perfect spot to escape into another, slightly eccentric, world.

FoodCamilla Sampson