I was trudging through Darlinghurst running late, an unusual occurrence for me. I kept trying to find this “cafe” called Cafe Lounge, when all of a sudden I was standing outside and realised a cafe it is not. It was also a place I had been to three times in the past. Twice when Burger Josh was hosting his pop-up there and another time to an all white (attire) African wedding. It then dawned on me how much I actually loved this place.
CAFE LOUNGE VENUE
Cafe Lounge is probably something that could be considered a basement level bar that serves food. It is OTT colourful and packed with so many awesome things to look at. I would call it Hipster Kitsch on decor and something more suited to a younger crowd than people getting older, did I just say that? It is darkly lit and not ideal for food photography but we made do quite well. Picture the offspring from an antique shop and a Vaudeville bar from the early 1900s, that’s Cafe Lounge.
There are paintings of old ships, greyhounds and The Duke. It is not just a bar and a place to eat but is also an entertainment venue holding some pretty cool things every night.
THE CAFE LOUNGE SCHEDULE:
Monday it is a Comedy Lounge
Tuesday is $3- pizzas – no shit
Wednesday is Folkswagon (I assume a folk band) Live and meals are $10-
Thursdays have $10- burgers and wedges combo and $20- tap jugs
Fridays is $10- cocktails from 5-7pm and a DJ from 8pm
Saturday is comedy from 5pm and DJs again from 8pm
Sunday is a rotation of improv and comedy
It’s always rocking something awesome at Cafe Lounge. And that bar – it’s AMAZING.
CAFE LOUNGE FOOD:
Simple fun cuisine – pizzas, burgers and four other share plates, all perfect to eat while drinking and enjoying comedy or entertainment – oh yeah – and one lonely dessert. All pizzas are $12- (unless special night), all burgers are $15- (again unless special night). You can add bacon hacks and double patties for $3- each.
I would like to recommend the Southern Fried Chicken Basket as a share plate but I did not get to taste it. I was paired for this review with the most odd food blogger I have eaten out with so far. The barman/ manager himself recommended the Fried Chicken “I don’t eat fried chicken” and he also recommended the Me So Prawny Pizza – prawns, chilli, bacon, pineapple and coriander. My mouth had water drooling out of it – “I don’t eat chilli.” As we were sharing I just quietly seethed in bafflement on the inside and we went for a more simplified version without the chilli and skipped the fried chicken share plate altogether. I will return for it.
Ten to chose from, all epic. Some examples to make you hungry; Chilli Holiday – Calabrese salami, olives, ricotta, oregano and chilli flakes. Charles Chicken – Portuguese Chicken, capsicum, jalapenos, red onion and pine nuts. And Nut King Cole sounds good for the veggoes – walnuts, spinach, ricotta, pumpkin, rocket and lemon oil. All of them – YES PLEASE. I need to hit up Cafe Lounge for their Tuesday night $3- pizzas!!!!
Equally as enticing as the pizzas, the burgers sound and tasted delicious. At only $15- with either wedges or fries the cost level is great – especially if visiting for drinks and dinner. On a quick side note – the drinks were fantastic, I drank a couple of wines and the manager made us some superb cocktails.
My dining partner ate the Beef Cheeseburger: Angus beef patty, double smoked cheese, pickles, oak lettuce, red onion, relish and Cafe Lounge burger sauce. I had a bite and quite enjoyed it. Dining partner gave it a 3.5/5.
I indulged in the Deep South: Southern fried chicken, slaw, smoked cheese, jalapenoes, sweet BBQ sauce and mustard mayo. I LOVED it and would definitely order it again. On my own scoring – the Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms this one’s a nice 4/5. They had me at Southern fried chicken :).
They also do a veggo burger that sounds great. The Truffalo Soldier: Large field mushroom, basil pesto, truss tomato, bocconcini, rocket and truffle oil. I do like a good mushroom.
The food is way better than I would expect from a dark and occasionally loud nightclub vibe venue. The alcohol is superb, and I love the bar, every time I have been I have taken a pic from the same angle as above. I half expect burlesque dancers to bust out moves at any given moment. The venue is seriously a work of art, it looks like something that has evolved over years of antique/ garage sale collecting and I love that. For me though, as a foodie that takes a lot of pictures, it can at times be too dark and too loud to hear the person next to me, for this it will hold higher appeal to the younger peeps.
If I was ten years younger and still living in the Surry Hills/ Darlinghurst area I would be at this place with flatmates on a weekly basis, it is a lot of fun and the staff are friendly and accommodating. Huge thanks to all of them and also to my community at Food Critics and Bloggers Australia aka FCBA who organised my visit.
As a Foodie Venue:
As a Funky Ass Kitsch Hipster Bar:
Cafe Lounge Deets:
Phone: (02) 9016 3951
Mon-Thur: 5pm – 12am
Fri & Sat: 4pm – 12am
Sun: 4pm – 10pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.