|Complimentary spiced popcorn at Hinky Dinks, Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst|
Booths and more spaced out lounge seats dominate the cosy space, but the bar seats are where the action happens: from the shaking and garnishing to the refilling of complimentary paper cups of popcorn flavoured with a moreish herb and spice mix, which I could eat endlessly.
The Madagascar Manhattan is an exotic twist on the heavy-hitting classic, featuring bourbon infused with vanilla (the Madagascan connection?) and citrus peel stirred with sweet vermouth, agave and chocolate bitters.
It was hard not to feel a little 'vintage' with the pretty crystal glassware, though the maraschino cherry and popcorn brought it back to somewhat more recent times.
|Gin 'n' Jam|
Here, Bombay Sapphire gin and Aperol were shaken with the mentioned jam, lemon, cranberry bitters and egg white for the blushingly gorgeous drink, garnished with a few rose petals. The bitter Aperol features prominently in this light cocktail that would be ideal pre-food.
While it's of a red hue, there's nothing squeamish about the mix of Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur, fresh lime, pineapple syrup, peach bitters and grapefruit soda. This was my second drink although I think it's probably best to start with the long drinks on ice ahead of those served up.
|Pan fried olive and parmesan sandwich|
Hinky Dinks' olive and parmesan toastie was a savoury delight, especially after the sugar of the cocktails. A salty black olive tapenade with salty melted cheese on crunchy grilled bread has to be as close to the perfect bar snack there is.
|Fried squid with aioli|
The food we ordered came from the 'peckish' section of the menu and there are just three more substantial eats and a couple of desserts, so it's definitely more your drinking than eating kind of parlour.
The Darlinghurst crowd was definitely enjoying itself in one of the area's newest offerings although given the very limited space at Hinky Dinks, there were a fair few turned away or told to return later. The vibe is relaxed but stylish, matched well by the sophisticated drinks and service, the popcorn and also the huge bowl of complimentary mints at the bar. Hinky Dinks goes to show that good old fashioned fun never goes out of style.