Inconspicuously located along Darlo’s main strip, Henrietta Supper Club is a gentlemanly tip of the hat to Darlinghurst’s original name, Henriettatown. This new late-night venue comes from the guys behind Bondi’s Neighbourhood bar, and they’ve teamed up with head chef Kim Douglas (ex-Rockpool Bar and Grill) to create a modern British/Irish flavoured menu filled with hearty staples and winter warmers. If you’re just being social, stop by for one of their sophisticated cocktails or a bite to eat off the delectable supper menu.
Slip in via an unassuming doorway on Victoria Street and up a flight of stairs to enter the curious world of Henrietta Supper Club. The dimly lit interior of the restaurant section is furnished with quirky 1940s inspired decor with a modern edge and later in the evening transforms into a buzzing supper club. The space is strikingly decorated with custom-made white antler and clamshell chandeliers and an eclectic array of contemporary artworks along the Yves Klein-ish blue walls.
If you proceed past the sleek open-plan kitchen, you’ll find yourself in a moody, old-fashioned bar that could easily be a set from Mad Men. You’d do well to order that uber-masculine Scotch Guard cocktail ($20) from the ‘Shaken not Stirred’ section — JW scotch whisky, Scottish lime curd, honey and ginger syrup, lime and soda.
Night owls will be pleased to know that once the dinner menu takes last orders at 10.30pm, the supper menu will be serving up enticing savoury options until ‘very late’ that will perfectly accompany a beverage from the impressive cocktail list. Try the bite-sized Yorkshire puds with kicking Dijon and horseradish ($9); those buttery-soft, bite-sized morsels are perfect for a satisfying 2am snack.
If seated for a group dinner, a few small plates to share would be optimal. The Jerusalem artichoke soup ($16) has a creamy taste enhanced by crunchy toasted walnuts and tangy apple salsa. Some Scottish fare makes an appearance, such as pickled sardines ($19) served with a cumin-spiced beetroot relish, poached egg and a zingy horseradish creme fraiche.
The cranked-up heating reminiscent of a cosy British pub is wholly suited to the Anglo-centric fare. The wintery weather outside is forgotten when you bite into the warming snapper and scampi pie ($34) which, when cracked open, reveals generous chunks of white fish, fresh peas and creamy gravy. The signature dish, stuffed loin of pork with shaved fennel and rhubarb ($30), is also worth a mention, while the typically unsung Brussel sprouts ($9) are lifted from their humble reputation into a tasty side dish fried with flavoursome speck and toasted almonds.
For something sweet, the traditional British crumble has been given a modern twist. It’s decoratively plated up with smatterings of warm rhubarb and apple filling, ginger-biscuity piles of crumble and pretty dollops of fruity puree and sour yoghurt, topped off with a deliciously melty buttermilk ice-cream ($15).
Decent late-night dining options are a rarity in inner Sydney, so for those wanting delicious food and free-flowing cocktails until late, Henrietta Supper Club may just be the ticket. Not surprisingly, the place is already attracting the 'hospo' crowd, who knock off late and still want to get in somewhere for a nightcap and a bite to eat.
Words and images by Eddie Hart.