If this is what belonging to a Country Club feels like, sign me up!
I’m ashamed to say that it took me far too long to visit the Darlo Country Club. Given we live a few doors down I have absolutely no excuse.
It appears I’ve been spending far too much time on the Potts Point end of our neighbourhood and neglected the shorter walk just a few steps from Surrey Street. By a few steps I mean literally 6 steps, or 4 if you’re blessed with longer legs than me.
We are so lucky to live in a city bursting with not just world class cuisine, but also venues that have a uniqueness which ultimately ensures their long longevity. Across Australia we are spoilt for choice and farm to fork goodness.
“I love supporting local restaurants and we’re lucky to live in what I think is a pretty cool suburb of Sydney. Our neighbourhood is filled with cafes and restaurants and most of them stand out on their own for their uniqueness. The Darlo Country Club is certainly one of these.”
Arriving around 6:30pm, we walked up the Darlo Country Club stairs which is a sense of arrival in itself. With every step you let go of the outside world as you enter the Hamptons inspired setting, it’s a nice feeling, especially on a Friday after a very long week. We were greeted at the top of the stairs by the super friendly staff who showed us where our reserved table was prior to seating us at the cocktail bar.
We started with a round of cocktails including the highly addictive Aloe Juku, a refreshing mix of oriental flavours that tease the taste buds, Tanqueray gin based with aloe vera, lychee and yuzu. I can still taste it.
We also enjoyed a very well prepared Vodka Martini, shaken with a twist of lime, and my house favourite, Hendricks and Tonic. My favourite part about a Hendrinks and Tonic is the cucumber. It’s almost a cocktail and appetiser in one.
I love nibbling on the gin infused cucumber, I always ask for some extra.
“It’s easy to lose time at the Darlo Country Club, before we knew it, it was after 8:00pm and the venue was filling up with locals and a few out of towners. We were taken to our table where we slid into the super comfortable leather upholstered chairs. Slightly higher than standard restaurant chairs, you feel elegantly perched and totally immersed in your surroundings.”
The great service continued with an introduction from resident Manager Harrison who helped us select the wine and got us started with some luscious share plates.
Our Country Club culinary journey began with small plates of Marinated Olives, Southern Style Fried Chicken with maple chilli and Marinated Grill Lamb Cutlets. The olives were perfectly marinated and the Fried Chicken was delicately prepared and piping hot.
Arriving a little later which was perfect timing were the Lamb Cutlets. These plumptious beauties were lovely and pink and charred to perfection.
I am a compulsive over-orderer at restaurants primarily because I want to try as many flavours as possible. Due to my ongoing diet (will it ever end), I behaved myself on this occasion, however I am dying to try the Mac & Cheese Croquettes and the Cheese & Charcuterie Board which features everyones favourite, fromage d’affinois.
The main event proved that the Darlo Country Club has nailed the Sydney supper-club scene. The Beef arrived sitting on one of the best salsa verde’s I have every tasted, it was so flavoursome and I would love to know the recipe. Hint. 😉
Also on our table was my partner Andrew’s main fare, the Wedge Salad. As the name suggests this is a wedge of salad strategically carved to allow the bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese and other ingredients to navigate their way though the crunchy leaves.
Andrew loves a good Wedge Salad and raves about the ones in New York City, it was music to my ears when he proclaimed a new winner for his favourite, right here in Darlinghurst.
Our friend Noulene tucked away the delicate slowly braised and seductive Lamb Shoulder which again came with the moorish salsa verde. A marriage made in gastronomy heaven.
“There is no need to look at your watch at the Darlo Country Club, just sit back and go with the magnificent flow. Before we knew it, we were up dancing the night away with the crowd which grew rapidly through the night. This music echoed from the 70’s through to today. Restaurants often lose control of the service with crowds like this, but not here. The service remained consistent and friendly throughout the night. It just kept getting better.”
The Darlo Country Club is a jewel in Sydney’s sparkling restaurant crown. It has food, service and atmosphere you’ll obsess over which will keep you craving for more. My only regret is I didn’t bring along the Nikon camera to capture some high res photos, alas my iPhone 7 did the best job it could.
Dear Darlo Country Club, I am so sorry it took us so long, but don’t worry, we will be back!