Darlie Laundromatic still has its original blue lightbox sign and copper pipes with taps, now for hanging coats on, fixed along the walls. It glows welcomingly with dim, warm light as I arrive and enter, walking past a long communal table with high stools towards the bar. I’m greeted by a smiling woman in a lovely retro dress and I explain that I’m meeting a friend here. (One of the things I like most about the small bars of Sydney is how friendly the staff are.) Beyond the bar and down a couple of steps are some small tables, opposite an open kitchen, beneath washing lines pegged with tea towels and even a small crocheted cardigan. Tonight they’re also festooned with balloons and streamers; when I called earlier to book a table I was told they were having a little party for one of the managers of the bar. Past this area there is a small courtyard with more seating. It’s a little chilly on this particular evening to sit outside but give it a few weeks…
I take my place at our reserved candle-lit table with its jam jar of flowers and while I wait for my companion I sample one of their organic cordials with vodka and soda. I try the spiced sour apple, and when Monica arrives shortly after she goes for the raspberry and ginger – both are delicious, if a little bit short on cordial. There’s also a concise wine list of mostly Australian drops and four cocktails that make use of the aforementioned cordials. The food menu consists of snacks, share plates, mini hotdogs and burgers, and a couple of sandwiches and salads, plus a specials board. We share a grilled field mushroom sandwich on thick toasted sourdough with tomato, rocket, caramelised onion and harissa aioli…
…and a grilled haloumi and eggplant salad with quinoa tabouli and mint.
Both are wonderfully fresh and tasty – good quality ingredients in simple combinations. Monica is in raptures about the mushroom sandwich, declaring it the best mushroom sandwich she has ever tasted! I wash it down with a glass of Dal Zotto Reisling from Victoria, full of zingy fruit, and Monica tries the Yarraloch Arneis, also from Victoria, which is beautifully floral without being at all sweet.
Fully sated and very pleased with our cute, cosy new bar find, we emerge into the cool night air and climb the hill a mere 20 metres or so to bustling Oxford Street. Here we part ways, vowing not to leave it too long until our next catch up and our next new bar discovery mission.
304 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst
Visited 16 August 2012