Darlo bar hoppers may not be starved for their pick of small bars, but Low’s got a little something the others don’t.
Aim high. Go low. That's the fitting credo of this cocktail bar-slash-eatery-slash-live music venue. And I can tell you, they don't miss the mark. Darlo bar hoppers may not be starved for their pick of small bars, but Low's got a little something the others don't.
For one, this place is sexy. Dark leather lounges are set against draping red curtains, with a grand piano tucked in the corner - an open invitation for musos to hammer out a good tune, and for hammered rockers looking for extra stage room. Throw in some low lighting, incense, intimate side rooms and an outdoor sitting that opens out onto Crown Street, and you've got your night off to a very good start.
The only thing that's as sophisticated as the digs is Low's bar menu. With things like Octopus Carpaccio ($15) and Twice Cooked Lemon Chicken Wings ($11) on offer, this ain't your usual pub fare. I'd suggest getting stuck into their Short Ribs and keeping an eye out for the weekly specials. Match it with a frosty can of Yebisu ($8.50) or Lord Nelson ($9).
If we're talking cocktails, the skilled bartenders are adept at leading the most indecisive of patrons to their new favourite drink. Despite my doubts, I was talked into a classic New York Sour ($16). Unconvincing on paper (bourbon, red wine and lemon juice) but phenomenal in a glass. The wine list features drops from Oz, NZ and France and is reasonably priced, rarely pushing the $45 mark.
Having said that, Low probably won't suit those on a shoestring budget. While the no-fuss Brighton Bar is close by, it's worth considering whether you can put a price on dignity.
Lastly, don't rock up at Low around midnight and expect to cruise on in. The queue on Friday and Saturday nights is impressive and the bouncer cares little for name-droppers. If you're through the door before 9pm and nab yourself a table, you're laughing. One of the best nights to drop in is Sundays for Low's live music gigs, which have seen some local and international talent tear it up on regular occasions.
Aim high, and go Low indeed.
Images: Alex Relic