The Cottage Bar & Kitchen Balmain Sydney

Located on Darling Street, in the historic inner city village of Balmain, The Cottage Bar & Kitchen is a cosy bar/restaurant housed in a beautiful old colonial building.

We travelled to Balmain on the ferry as it's such a delight to be on Sydney Harbour when the sun is shining. The walk into the village from the ferry terminal is a treat in itself as we meandered past many of Balmain's well preserved buildings.

The interior decor is a mix of French country kitchen in the downstairs dining area, whilst the upstairs mezzanine attic space is adorned with colourful antique lounges and hanging plants - a bright, fun and quirky space. Old colonial buildings can sometimes be dark but the guys at The Cottage have cleverly opened up the small courtyard at the rear of the property to provide more light and a feeling of openness.

Arriving at The Cottage we were welcomed by a shady courtyard seating area with an abundance of flowering plants and trees. Unfortunately all the seats were taken so we contented ourselves at a high table just inside the French doors leading off the terrace - a gentle spring breeze wafting through the doors.

The menu is a feast of shared plates and wood fired pizzas - I was pleased to see loads of vegetarian options. The drinks list is comprehensive showcasing many wines from smaller Australian vineyards, along with a handful of well chosen international labels. Some of our favourite Aussie craft beers and ciders make up the remainder of the drinks list. We ordered a bottle of Tim Adams Riesling from the Clare Valley to celebrate the glorious spring weather.
From the food menu we chose the salted pistachios, marinated olives, crispy chickpeas with smoked pimento salt, parsley crumbed haloumi with salsa verdi and lemon and the smoked pimento spiced calamari. All the dishes were fantastic, from the salted pistachios which were very moreish to the gentle kick from the pimento spice on the melt in your mouth calamari. The haloumi was soft and gooey inside its crumbed casing. The pizzas we spied other people ordering looked wonderful as well - we'll try them the next time we visit.

Our dishes finished we moved onto the terrace to finish off our wine and order desserts. When looking at dessert menus I usually go straight for the chocolate dishes however this time the Trifle Flowerpot caught my eye - adult's nutella, caramel creme, peanut butter mousse, raspberry jelly, crushed Kingston's and almond praline, and pistachio floss! I wasn't too sure what to expect as I'm not a huge trifle fan but as soon as my spoon pierced the Kingston's and almond praline through to the raspberry jelly and peanut butter mousse below, I knew I had hit the jackpot with this dessert. The flavours intensified as I dug deeper and reached the nutella at the bottom - I didn't want it to end. Kevin's digestive creme brulee with almond biscotti was also beautiful, with a lovely creamy texture, but I think he was distracted by my constant proclamations that my dessert was the "best ever".

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Dragging ourselves away from The Cottage was very hard as it has such a great chilled out vibe, with wonderful food, wine and friendly helpful staff. I can see ourselves spending a lot of time here working our way through the menu.

What is the best dessert you've ever had?

The Cottage Bar & Kitchen, 342 Darling Street, Balmain, Sydney

Website

Tel: 02 8084 8185

Opening hours: Mon–Wed: 5pm–midnight; Thur–Sat: 12pm–midnight; Sun: 12pm–10pm

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Posted on October 2, 2012 and filed under EAT.