Cosy Up At The Cottage, Balmain

Bars, Drink, Eat, Events, Sydney / 24 June 2014

Stepping in to The Cottage Balmain is like being invited into the rustic home of an eccentric artist. There’s mismatched furniture and eclectic artwork, including one of Salvador Dali holding his cat, scattered around the place. Downstairs is all hustle and bustle, full of grandmotherly tea sets, tall stools and pots and pans hanging on the walls. Settle in upstairs on one of the cosy leather armchairs or get some fresh air outside amongst the tall hedges draped in twinkling fairy lights.
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Sometimes, a little makeover is just what the doctor ordered. Jennifer Lawrence went with a blonde pixie cut, Rosie O’Donnell dropped fifty pounds – and Head Chef Ellen Young has revolutionised the Cottage’s winter menu. A hundred and fifty locals, friends, journalists and celebrities gathered for the launch of the new menu – and were treated to a preview of the three brand new cocktails that are about to become the talk of Balmain.
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Try the Slow Cuban, a twist on the mojito with Plymouth sloe gin shaken with pressed mint and lime and charged with soda. Watch out for this one – it’s lethal.
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For those that enjoy drinking out of an old-fashioned glass, the Lemon & Basil Gimlet is the order of the day – citron vodka and lemoncello, shaken with fresh basil, lemon and lime. Or for those with a taste for the sour rather than the sweet, the Speyside Sour is for you: Glenfiddich 12 year and ginger liqueur are lengthened with lemon juice and honey water and finished with orange bitters.
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The winter food menu is full of wholesome comfort dishes including the standout dish of Maple & Cider Beef Brisket, bathed in horseradish cream with celeriac crisp on the side.
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The best appetiser in Balmain – probably in Sydney – is the arancini of tomato. The cheese melts from the middle as you take a bite, and the aioli dressing complements the crispy coating to perfection. Also on the menu is roasted cauliflower with pulled lamb shoulder, smoked mozzarella and Parmesan mushrooms stuffed with barley and Yellowfin tuna tartare with beetroot relish.
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Not to mention the endless supply of shucked oysters served at the Oyster Bar, as well as the extensive selection of the finest cheeses from the UK, France, Spain and Italy that were gone before you could sink a knife into the nearest mouth-watering brie.
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The Cottage is smack bang in the middle of Balmain – you can’t miss it if you’re strolling down Darling Street. The locals are chatty, the waitresses have flowers in their hair and the age-old question ‘should I stay for one more drink?’ is answered for you.
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The Cottage
342 Darling Street Balmain 2041
02 8084 8185

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