In the wake of the lock-out laws introduced in February this year, there appears to be a definite change in the Kings Cross air - but we're yet to see which way the change really swings for the hospitality industry.
With a more relaxed menu and approach than a year ago, The Bourbon's decor and daily food and drinks specials, including a half-price late night menu, offer an inviting scene for those after a quick burger, a bite with few cocktails or a more substantial meal from the New Orleans/NOLA-inspired menu.
|The kitchen in action at The Bourbon, Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross|
We were treated to a chef’s tasting selection to guide us through the new menu, which retains many aspects of NOLA influence. (Note: most dishes shown below are smaller tasting sizes and not the full menu size).
|Maple Rose Sour (left) and Velvet Vivant Martini (right)|
Their take on the classic whiskey sour comprised Bulleit bourbon infused with rosemary, cloudy apple and lemon juices, green chartreuse, maple syrup and chocolate bitters; the latter few ingredients adding a nice hint of sweetness.
The Velvet Vivant martini had Ketel One vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon, pink grapefruit and agave, which while refreshing, became a little too acidic for my tastes.
|Little Black Drink (LBD, left) & Ginger Rogers (right)|
The sweet, light and refreshing Ginger Rogers was a fruity affair of Tanqueray Gin, pomegranate liqueur, berries and lime juiced charged with ginger beer.
|Spiced nuts and olives|
The crunchy, spiced peanuts and cashews had a nice dusting of flavour with a mild heat kick, while the olives of varying types and sizes were lovely and salty.
|Pickled chillies, hummus and bread|
The highlight of the board, though, were the pickled chillies with such a delicious vinegary heat to them, I would have eaten them all if I didn't have to save room for the rest of the meal.
|Scallops with grits, bacon, apple and fennels|
Our first and probably my favourite dish of the evening was the seared scallops which were plump, tender and beautifully caramelised on the surface.
These excellently-cooked molluscs were accompanied by a slice of crisp bacon atop a bed of creamy grits which had a distinct corn flavour. A salad of fennel and apple on the side freshened things up.
|Fried chicken, waffles and hot sauce|
The waffle underneath the chicken was a sweet contrast to the savoury chicken while the tangy, fiery-red hot sauce adding extra zing, perfect for those that don't mind a bit of spice.
|Alaskan crab, spiced butter and grilled bread|
The spiced butter pooling on the plate was too good to waste, with sides of grilled bread provided to help mop up every last drop of buttery goodness.
|Jambalaya - risotto, spices, bacon, shrimp, watercress|
|Seared swordfish with 'hot fanny sauce' and iceberg & fennel salad|
While this dish was visually pleasing, the flavours didn't pack as much punch as the previous courses, although that could have just been my taste buds in NOLA overdrive by this point in the night.
|Grilled pork chop, potato hash, chipotle butter and crispy onions|
A garnish of crispy onion ring and watercress completed the dish, although a larger serving of salad would have been ideal to balance out the rich flavours of the pork.
A sizeable cloud of chocolate shaving-topped whipped cream hid a treasure trove of gooey, warm caramel and banana, all encased by soft, buttery pastry that melted in the mouth.
|Waffles, vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce|
|Strawberries and cream - vanilla ice cream, meringue, fresh strawberries |
and strawberry sorbet
It was easy to forget we were in the heart of Kings Cross. Indeed, the last time I had a night out in the Cross it was definitely not for a sit-down New Orleans-influenced dinner. With the new approachable and relaxed menu, live bands and ample seating room, The Bourbon is sure to become a place in the Cross to start and end the night in NOLA style.
Food, Booze & Shoes dined as a guest of The Bourbon.