If you are looking to escape the typical Kings Cross experience of seedy bars, inconsistent door policies and drunken youngsters, Eau de Vie is your saviour. Here youíll be served award winning cocktails in an upbeat environment. Modelled after a 1920s speakeasy (and Sydney now boasts several in this theme), the mood is both fun and professional. Itís interesting that this place stands out more because of its energy. Most cocktail bars tend to be downbeat or pretentious but with great jazz playing and plenty of room for private spaces, communal seating or hanging at the bar, Eau de Vie brings together all the great elements of Sydney bars.
The printed cocktail list is decent, but donít be scared to go off-menu. These guys know their stuff and the shelves behind the bar are stacked with an impressive array of spirits, liquors and mixers.
The food menu is decent (the place often smells of their popular buttered popcorn) but it may have you reaching for Google. Expect to see items such as 'Montesano Jamon Serrano Gran Reserva' (which is a dried cured mountain ham from Italy along the line of prosciutto) and 'Salumi Australia Salame Piccante' (a medium sized salami with chilli). Apart from the snacks, there are more substantial options ranging in price from $15-20 but expect a serving size closer to an entrťe than a main.
Since itís situated deep inside the Kirketon Hotel, itís not immediately obvious where Eau de Vie is located. Walk in from Darlinghurst Road, past reception and onwards to the black doors that mark the menís and womenís toilets on your left (ignore the small bar on your right). Continue a bit further along the corridor, and through a doorway. The noise and smell of buttered popcorn should guide you to your final destination.
In brief: Eau De VieDon't miss: The antique cocktail equipment on display Best things: Impressive spirit list. If it comes in a bottle, they probably have it Ideal for: Small groups, dates, catch-ups with friends Date tip: Couches on the far right as you enter (corner is best) or the couches in the back room Gripes: Sometimes the barmen take the cocktails a bit too seriously and youíll be find yourself occasionally at odds with them over things like adding a straw to your cocktail. Some descriptions on the food menu seems a little over the top and come off as a bit wanky. Rating: 8/10
Last updated: June 2016
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