Friday, August 05, 2011

Gotham Bar, Darlinghurst

Holy smokes Batman...I’m in the dark. Literally! Gotham Bar is a dark, warm oasis on a cold and wintery Sydney night. The decor is a classy throwback to 1950s New York and I have to say visiting this bar gets me pretty excited for my upcoming trip to The Big Apple.

Of course with dark, moody lighting comes...dark and woeful photos, but I’m not going to let this post turn into a pity party (well, not too much anyway)!  That said, Mr Nikon chucked the biggest wobbly know to woman-kind at being stuck in the dark...he totally failed to see that dark lighting means "atmosphere"! Hurmph - someone is skating on thin ice let me tell you!

But let’s talk about what I loved about Gotham Bar shall we? I loved the dark chesterfield lounges snuggled in the back corner near an open fireplace, I loved the huge backlit clock that sits behind the bar giving the place a luminescent glow, I loved the pressed metal tin on the walls in the bathrooms, I loved the cocktails and I loved the thoughtful and tasty food on offer. And, I just loved the warm ambiance, and eclectic style that oozes from every corner of Gotham Bar.

I also loved that Gotham Bar invited me to dinner after I made a mess of trying to purchase a meal deal voucher that was on offer a few weeks ago. By the time I’d gotten my act together to purchase the voucher the deal had expired – insert sad wail here! Not to worry though as Gotham Bar invited me and a friend down to try a main meal and cocktail each. Because we are greedy guts’ though, we buy ourselves an entree and a salad – just to ensure we’re totally stuffed by the end of the night.

Now, if you can’t tell from this amazing photo (yes folks that is sarcasm in case you didn’t recognise it) I ordered a cocktail. What do you mean it looks like a dark blob in front of a glowing blob that may or may not be a candle? And it’s not just any dark blob cocktail; it’s a damn tasty Big Apple Cocktail – studded with sliced granny smith apples and mint smashed with gin, pomme verte and white grapefruit juice.

Miss Chicken, my dark but not blobby dining companion orders herself a glass of white wine...there it is, that dark bullet shaped thing in front of the glowing blob candle.

The range of food on offer at Gotham Bar is not enormous – there are just five good mains to choose from. The selection of entrees is somewhat larger and they all sound mouth watering - once again I’m paralysed with indecision. I would’ve been happy eating anything and everything off the entrees menu!

Miss Chicken was immediately taken with the dark round blobs of blobby blobbiness roast field mushrooms with persillade, bone marrow and bread crumbs ($14.50) and it is a good choice. The round, dark blobs field mushrooms are large and meaty, and the bone marrow adds an interesting earthy taste and is almost fatty in its texture. The persillade is a mix parsley, garlic, herbs, oil, and vinegar.

In a last minute decision I opted for the "Pissaladiere" which is a caramelised onion olive and anchovy slice ($9.50). In layman’s terms I would call this an onion and anchovy pizza - if you don’t like anchovy then steer clear of this as the flavour of anchovy dominates the palate. Lucky for us we are both anchovy freaks – Miss Chicken tells me proudly she’ll happily eat anchovies straight from the too Miss chicken, me too.

Miss Chicken chose the Pan-fried Fillet of Ocean Trout w lentil vinaigrette (normally $25.00) for her main – though we did share both of our dishes. I would say without a doubt that the crispy fried trout skin and the lentils were the hero of this dish for the both of us. The trout skin was crisped to perfection and the lentils! Who knew lentils could ever taste so moreish? The fresh lentils were lifted to a whole new level with a zingy vinaigrette – so much so that I’m going to “try” and replicate the dish at home...wish me luck!

I had my eye on the Steamed Kinkawooka Mussels with white wine herbs, tomato and fries (normally $18.00). After seeing Hayden cooks these in an early episode of Masterchef I really wanted to see if this dish is as good as the Masterchef judges made it out to be – it was. The crispy and salty French Fries were perfect for dipping into sauce the accompanied the mussels, and the mussels were tender, plump and juicy.

Miss Chicken and I also buy ourselves a salad of torn iceberg w mint parsley and mustard vinaigrette ($8.00) as we felt like some greens, although in hindsight we'd already had more than enough food.

Gotham Bar is at 33 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.  Miss Piggy apologies to Gotham Bar for the terrible photos and not making the food look as good as it really was on the night - blame the Nikon D3000, I know I do!

Gotham on Urbanspoon

A note on my photography:
All is can say is Mr Nikon D3000 better pull his "dark lighting" socks up if he wants to come on further fun outings with me and my tummy. Enough said!


  1. lol "Mr Nikon D3000" it does make for a funny read. Shame about the photos, you'll pick it up soon enough. Would've been interesting to see what type of pics you would've gotten with the G11 :p

    No desserts?

  2. ohh love the clock thingy backdrop at the bar area. u couldve said the moody orange gives it a old NY feel, like when you find an old newspaper :P

  3. Chips and mussels, yum! Lol, poor Mr Nikon.

  4. I've taken way worse photos, don't be so hard on yourself and the camera! Great food choices, dishes sound great, but I'm still wondering why Miss Chicken never orders chicken.

  5. Mmmmm, those mussels look like a winner!

  6. The french fries look really great, thin and crispy. So glad the mussels lived up to expectations, they sound delish.

  7. Oh wow this place looks very cool!

    Those fries are calling my name

  8. Yum! This place is awesome, love the decor and the cocktail looks kickass ;)Food looks yummy too.

  9. i love the look of the ocean trout... yummy!

  10. Have you tried taking off the lens cap?

  11. Crikey !!!! Don't blame the poor Nikon ;-(

    Firstly, in many of your photos you've got the light source in the picture. As a general you should have the source of light in the picture. Have you heard the saying "don't shoot into the sun". Most photographers try and get the light source behind their back.

    Secondly you need to set your camera for the type of light you have. Incandescent (an old fashioned light globes) give one type of light, fluorescent lights give off light similar to the sun and a candle gives off a different light. Said simply the camera adjusts the colour balance based on what type of light its set at.

    This link will explain why you are getting it wrong.

    Even with a simple point and shoot you have to select the lighting type.

    Cheers Anon

  12. Correction. I made a typo above.

    It should read:

    "As a general rule you shouldn't have the source of light in the picture."

    My apologies for the mistake.

    Cheers, Anon.

  13. I'm an anchovy freak to!!!!

    Half a jar over vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Yummo!!!

  14. Your "Bistro 80, Pyrmont" blog photos had good "white balance" because you had it set correctly. The photos in this blog have got the "white balance" setting wrong.

    Your Nikon D3000 has an "Auto WB" aka "Auto White Balance" setting. This works well when the light is strong such as in your "Bistro 80, Pyrmont" blog photos, but when the light is gentle (weak) the "Auto WB" doesn't work

    Here are examples of good "white balance" settings and bad settings.

    How to set "white balance" on Nikon D3000.

    Practice in your home on your home cooked meals before you do another food blog. Take your photos at night when its dark. Get a weak lamp or a candle and illuminate your home cooked meal. Get your "boy" to move the light around and experiment with the "white balance" control.

    Remember your problem is when the light is weak (as in a restaurant). When the light is weak you cannot rely on the "Auto White Balance". You have to do it yourself.

    Practice, practice, practice and those photos will turn out.

    Good luck !!!

  15. Silly Mr Nikon. I still think the food looks awesome so no need to apologise to Gotham Bar :)

  16. love your outside street shot. nice colours.

  17. mr nikon is still a baby so you need to be patient :P
    hehe the blobs sound tasty


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