Sydney's Best Small Bars


Surry Hills-Darlinghurst
169 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst

Tatler Bar, Darlinghurst

Refinement and sophistication are not normally words that come to mind when entering the Kings Cross area. Judging by Tatler’s battered grilled door, you may think you are about to descend into another typically dodgy venue, but that just makes this elegant downstairs bar even more surprising. It’s a wonderful blend of the old and the new: sandstone blocks, a 20 year old baby grand piano gracing the floor, a new ceiling that is a masterpiece in its own right and a second bar that reduces the crush experienced at other venues. If you want some air, head out to the back terrace area where you can stare up at the nearby residential towers and the local urban environment of Kings Cross. Back inside, the furnishings show true class: understated, comfortable without being showy or stuffy. All of this comes together to create a breezy and relaxed atmosphere.

The cocktail menu at Tatler matches the décor: the balance of tastes means that drinks are neither too sweet, bitter or sour. The Clover Club ($18) with it’s egg white, fresh raspberries, lemon and Bombay gin is so smooth it is hard not to gulp it down in one go. Even the Old Fashioned Diplomatica ($18), while strong, is neither bitter nor overpowering. For an extra twist, they will smoke the entire cocktail (add $3) while you wait. It’s not just theatrical as the smoky flavour is present but subtle. The Mojita Royal ($19) and Pineapple Blossum ($18) will also give your tastebuds a run for your money.

For alternatives to cocktails there are three champagnes ($11-$25), a couple of reds and whites by the glass ($12-15), plus a choice of three unexciting beers: Corona, Peroni, Heineken (all $9). As you’d expect from a cocktail bar, the selection of spirits is extensive with 10 vodkas, a dozen types of gin and rum plus over 20 whiskies.

Tatler is right on the edge of Darlinghurst, on Darlinghurst road. It’s just a little back from the William Street Corner. Look for the old battered iron grill and dark staircase behind it. If the door is locked, ring the bell and a hostess will greet you but generally there will be someone at the door on busier nights.

In brief: Tatler
Best things: Late closing time, outdoor area, two bars, cocktails that are balanced yet interesting, comfortable funishings.
Don't miss: The smoked Old Fashioned Diplomatica, or the Clover Club
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends, dates.
Date tip: Tatler has the perfect combination for a date night: friendly staff, elegant finishings, low lights. You can be the only two in the place and still have plenty to talk about. For a place to sit – hit the front couch near the baby grand piano (this is the rockstar of dating spots), otherwise the couch near the rear bar, or outside to get more of a gritty and airy feel of the Cross.
Gripes: Some cocktails take a little longer to prepare, so service can be slow. A few more beer choices would be welcomed.
Rating: 7/10

Tatler on Urbanspoon

Last updated: August 2017
You are here: Tatler Bar, Darlinghurst review and address. A wonderful blend of the old and the new: sandstone blocks, a 20 year old baby grand piano, balanced cocktails and a perfect date venue.