Combining a French military aesthetic with an end of war party vibe and a bar stocked with over 900 spirits expect banging cocktails.
Concrete Playground
May 28, 2023


Kittyhawk, from the team behind The Lobo Plantation, is a seductive bar and restaurant on Phillip Lane hiding in plain sight from the blur of corporate warriors and traffic that are customary for a location where the city and Circular Quay intersect.

Taking its name from a US fighter jet, Kittyhawk takes you back to the historic French liberation, when US and French troops celebrated liberté, egalité and fraternité on the streets of Paris. Inside this generously sized but intimate feeling time capsule of a venue you'll find walls decorated with vintage wartime posters, gleaming leather banquettes, velvet chairs, and an impressive 12-metre-long handcrafted American oak bar across which a continuous output of smart cocktails and wine from an impressive cellar are served.

The food is playful French fare where dishes with rustic tradition are delivered with dashes of contemporary luxury. Enduring classics like the duck liver pâté with cornichons and tawny port jelly or appellation oysters with mignonette are essential starters, and opulent mouthfuls of the Siberian caviar bump with frozen Grey Goose or the scallop crudo on blini with caviar and horseradish add some extra sex appeal to the table.

The white anchovy tarte with caramelised onion is an exercise in perfectly executed simplicity, while the lunch-only steak sandwich with gruyere, onion jam and pickles is a flavour-packed flex. The menu options invite you to either stay and linger over several bottles of wine, or take in a quick pre-theatre or pre-gig snack with a martini (they take bookings for drinks seatings).

The Kittyhawk drinks menu is presented as a pilot's flight operating manual and, like the real thing, it is a lengthy document: 32 pages of triumphant cocktails, a versatile and varied wine list, and spirits ranging from Australian whiskey to amaro. Can't decide what to drink when and with what? Leave it in the extremely capable hands of the floor and bar staff.

Kittyhawk might be inconspicuously tucked away behind a deep-blue door on Phillip Lane, but those in the know are always treated to a very, very good time.


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