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Gotham Bar – Darlinghurst

July 4, 2011


Being a big nerd from way back, I have to admit I’d been a bit curious about Gotham on name alone. And spied from a bus’s window as it trundles down Oxford st – Gotham’s black sign and darkened door has more than a passing resemblance to the Batcave.


So when Natalie at Folke emailed me with an opportunity to try out Gotham’s new food and cocktail menu, I gladly accepted. According to her email, Gotham has recently introduced: “Laif Etournaud  (previously of ONDE, Bistro Moncur and Berowra Waters fame) as Culinary Consultant and Head Mixologist Dane Reid” (ex bar manager of Jimmy Liks). Enticed by this, my friend J and I brave a blustery Thursday night and make our way into Gotham.


First up – Gotham has to be one of the most visually striking bars I’ve ever seen. The bar is backlit with a giant gothic clock-face (which reminds me of Big Ben!). And unlike the majority of new places that have popped up around Oxford St lately, Gotham is not a small bar. Not in the least.


Though I’m a fan of small bars… it is a quiet relief to not have to jostle for a seat for a change!! Gotham is sleek and spacious – if albeit a little bit quiet for a Thursday night. There are clusters of happy people having after-work drinks as the DJ in the corner tries valiantly to create some atmosphere. I can’t help but feel like the DJ is a bit out of amongst the speakeasy-style wooden banquettes and plush leather armchairs. Something a bit warmer like jazz would be perfect.

We meet Dane – who is an absolute gentleman. He takes us through the menu, which has a very respectable mix of European style fare – we choose two entrees to share, and a main each. For entree we go with the Zucchini Flowers with Parmesan and Lemon, Sugar Cured Ocean Trout with Horseradish Cream and Sourdough – for main, I go with Dane’s suggestion and get the Panfried Fillet of Ocean Trout with lentil vinaigrette, and my friend J gets the steamed Kinkawooka Mussels with white wine herbs, tomato & fries.

J had visited Gotham before at the beginning of the year. She tells me that during her previous visit (and I assume, under its previous owner) Gotham had quite an eclectic (if inconsistent) menu – which ranged from sushi bombs, to duck pancakes, to deep fried calamari. It’s interesting to see that they’ve chosen to streamline the menu.

I like the delicate looking cutlery

The Big Apple – $16

To go with our meal, Dane makes us some drinks – I order a cocktail from the menu, The Big Apple – which is Green apple & fresh mint smashed with gin, pomme verte & white grapefruit juice. It’s as delicious and fresh as it sounds, and dangerously drinkable. My friend J is recovering from a bout of cold – so Dane makes her an off-menu passionfruit mocktail, which she really enjoys. Without even trying the food – we know we’ll be coming back for the cocktails alone.

Our food comes out and…. wow. We’re pretty stunned by the generous plates spread in front of us. Perhaps it was a bit prejudiced of me to expect somewhere that looked so upmarket to have similarly upmarket (read: stingy) portion sizes. But it’s such a nice surprise to be proved wrong.


The Zucchini Flowers with Parmesan and Lemon in particular is a beautiful surprise of a dish. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m usually used to only 4 or 5 on a plate at a time… and for $10.50 I certainly didn’t expect too many. Not an entire basketful!! There are perhaps 10 or so flowers in there, but I forget to count. For sure they are unfilled, but after eating these, I think I might prefer them this way! Unencumbered by a strong tasting filling, the zucchini flowers are light, fresh and sweet underneath the perfectly crisp batter. With a squeeze of lemon and the a bit of bite from the freshly grated parmesan – this is definitely a winner with both me and J.

Our other entree is the Sugar Cured Ocean Trout with Horseradish Cream and Sourdough:


This is also a lovely generous portion. The tumbling ribbons of ocean trout and stalks of rocket are delicious and the horseradish cream isn’t so strong as to overwhelm its delicate flavour. I’m also really happy to see that the grilled sourdough underneath is crispy and not soggy. This on its own would make a really good snack – though I probably could have been just as happy with about half the amount of sauce.

And then come our mains…


Evidently being on a bit of a fish kick, I go for the Panfried Fillet of Ocean Trout with lentil vinaigrette. It’s a beautiful looking piece of fish – softly cooked to the perfect amount of doneness, and with a crackling crispy layer of skin. The vinaigrette itself is a wonderfully tasty and tangy mix of lentils, fresh herbs, tomato, olive oil and balsamic vinegar – and is really refreshing against the unctuous fish.


J works her way through a huge dish of steamed mussels, which is also served with a gigantic basket of shoestring fries.


The relaunched Gotham is a welcome and classy addition to the often loud and crowded Oxford St. And the simplified menu of uncomplicated and unfussy dishes done well was much appreciated by us. Gotham will certainly be on my mind the next time I’m in the area in the need for dinner…… or cocktails.

If you stop by for a drink, say hi to Dane for me!

J and I dined as guests of Natalie at Folke

Gotham Bar
35 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW
On the Hyde Park end of Oxford St. Between Pelican and Brisbane St.
Ph: 9283 1891
Twitter: Gotham_bar

Open from Tues to Sat (5pm – Midnight)

Gotham on Urbanspoon

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2011 11:54 pm

    this place looks good. portion sizes are always different these days. you never ever know what to expect. I’ve taken the ‘expect the unecpexted’ approach these days!!

  2. July 5, 2011 8:55 am

    It’s always good to see bars that make good food and not just beer snacks.

  3. July 5, 2011 9:54 am

    I’ve been curious of this place too.

    Shame the look of the bar didn’t extend all the way out into the dining/lounge area.

  4. July 5, 2011 4:28 pm

    Love that giant clock! And the food looks really nice too.

  5. October 8, 2011 12:33 pm

    Going here tonight! So excited & your review got me more pumped! Wearing my Batman shirt too! lol

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