Huge thanks to my foodie friend, Andrew aka @asianfoodninja, for passing on my name to the PR guy, Mr Carter, who looks after Darlo Country Club. Thanks to him I took the lovely Laarni aka @threespoonsful to experience their Brunch Club.
DARLO COUNTRY CLUB VENUE:
Darlo Country Club is on Victoria Street in Darlinghurst, it is in the premises of the old, and also exquisite, Victoria Tea Room. The new look is much different to the Tea Room and reminds me of a cross between a Polo Club and something out of Casablanca. It is quite similar to design to Merivale’s Papi Chulo in Manly. The venue is upper class, I felt incredibly underdressed and the patrons included 75% of all males wearing a polo shirt (mostly Ralph Lauren) with a dinner jacket, most dinner jacket pockets also had the handkerchief sticking out of the pocket. The female clientele appeared to be mostly blonde haired models who all attended private school. Although this had a lot to do with the Hen’s Lunch taking place for about forty ladies, who all wore white, all had blonde hair and all resembled Barbie.
The venue is large with shaded window lighting along one wall and lots of booth seating. There were private lounge areas, seats at the bar, a DJ on one wall and a fantastic rope lattice wall that split the place in two that really worked wonders. The place was comfortable and is something not really done in Sydney, it is designed as a Country Club, a place to hang out, eat nice food and drink a lot. The barman even brings a mobile cocktail bar to your table to mix up Bloody Mary’s or Espresso Martinis. I was in heaven.
DARLO COUNTRY CLUB BRUNCH CLUB:
Generally the venue is open from 5pm and goes through to either 12am or 2am. It was designed to have people come in for elegant cocktails, have a nice dinner and then dance to the early hours to a DJ or surprise muso. It’s a winning concept and I bloody love it. There is beautiful dinner menu plus a wine and cocktail menu to make you drool. The venue is perfect for any occasion. I will be taking my parents here for a Xmas Brunch Club Lunch because they will love it.
Speaking of the Brunch Club, this is what we were visiting to review at Darlo Country Club. Brunch Club operates on Saturdays ONLY, from 1130am and is a set menu. You can pay either $55-, $75- or $95- a head and you are paying for more than food and drink, you are paying for great experience. You pay extra for cocktails but for the $75- package we had a ball. On top of what is listed you get the friendly service from a mostly European wait staff who are all basically supermodels and have an accent to make your knees wobble. On top of this you then get the cocktail maestro who mixes cocktails at your table and on top of that you get a freaking magician at your table for entertainment – it was insanely fun!!
This is the PERFECT venue for Hens, a 40th, a whatever the excuse – get in there.
This is what you get:
- $55pp Set Menu – Glass of Verve Clicquot NV or Cocktail on arrival
- $75pp Set Menu – Bottomless Chandon NV (inc Mimosa & Bellini’s) – 3 hour package
- $95pp Set Menu – Bottomless Veuve Clicquot – 3 hour package
BRUNCH CLUB SET MENU:
Fresh Fruit Cones
Atlantic Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, tomato, spanish onion, wood fired bagels, potato blini, Créme Fraîche & Salmon roe
Lettuce wrap of Yamba Prawns, avocado, shallots, celery, lime & chilli mayonnaise
Roasted Spatchcock with Waldorf Salad
Potato Hash with free range eggs
Custard French Toast with maple syrup and strawberry
FRESH FRUIT CONES:
On arrival we were offered Champagne, Mimosa’s or Bellini’s. Both of us went Bellini’s and after about fifteen minutes to settle out came our first course, Fresh Fruit Cones, simply fruit stuffed in a waffle cone and drizzled in honey. It looked amazing and the berries tasted amazing but on a whole the dish didn’t work for me. It really needed a cream based accompaniment or a sorbet. A dollop of ice cream or coconut sorbet would have elevated this to perfection. I am unsure if it was the association with the cone and dessert that made me need an ice cream-like accompaniment but it fell a bit flat as it was.
THE BARMAN COMES TO THE TABLE:
It’s not every day that a Michael Fassbender European look-a-like bartender insists on mixing cocktails at your table but YES PLEASE. He brings it right up to the table and can make a few things. We settled on a few Espresso Martinis and eventually got a Bloody Mary. As mentioned earlier the cocktails cost extra – but it’s worth it for the experience – you are not visiting Darlo Country Club for a cheap meal, you are there for an experience.
SMOKED SALMON BAGELS:
The second course was a light and delicious make-your-own dish. Atlantic Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, tomato, Spanish Onion, wood-fired bagels, potato blinis, crème fraiche and salmon roe. This one went perfectly with the Bellini’s. I worship smoked salmon so this one hit the spot perfectly, it had all the perfect accompaniments to make your own amazement.
Enough said really – look at that pic – doesn’t this scream Casablanca at you? – Bogart needed to be sitting at a piano in a corner somewhere with Sam.
PRAWN AND LETTUCE WRAPS:
The following course was another light dish – Lettuce Wrap of Yamba Prawns with avocado, shallots, celery, lime and chilli mayonnaise. This was delightful, very tasty and fresh. It felt very eighties eating these and the only issue I had was that we only got one each.
A MAGICIAN COMES TO THE TABLE:
And then, out of nowhere, between courses, came a magician. Andy, the magician, played tricks on us for about fifteen minutes, his sleight of hand so close to us was mind blowing. He did this simple trick with elastic bands between thumbs where he slipped one elastic band through the other. It had us really confused. Laarni took the elastic bands off him and tried it herself haha. Was lots of fun.
The main was two dishes you mix together on your own. Roasted Spatchcock with Waldorf salad on one plate and Potato Hash and poached free range eggs on the other. It was a delicious brunch meal. It was basically a chicken (nay spatchcock) caesar salad you mix yourself but the salad was Waldorf. The potato hash was sublime and had a brilliant crunchiness to it. I can eat eggs on anything – and it worked a treat with this dish. The Spatchcock was cooked to perfection and all mixed in our own bowls it was a fantastic dish. But again it maintained a “light meal” theme, with two light starters I was expecting something a little heavier for the main – but it was called BRUNCH club – not lunch club so I get it.
CUSTARD FRENCH TOAST:
Then there was dessert – my god this was delicious. Custard French Toast in a pool of maple syrup garnished with strawberries and a little scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Drool drool drool. Having to share this was a crime!!! But at least we had an Espresso Martini each and a Bloody Mary to share. We did walk out of there a little wobbly haha.
Darlo Country Club is an epic experience. I thought the food could have been a bit more of a standout but the place isn’t all about the food. I would pay the money just for that experience again. It was a throwback to older times and it was magnificent. The Brunch Club experience I think would work better for larger groups when you are all happy to get tipsy chatting away and chugging nice champagne with the occasional snack-like dish breaking it up. For the two of us I would have preferred the dinner menu – where dishes like Vodka Linguine, Country Club Burger, Seared Scallops and Pan Roasted Sirloin get my saliva glands working to the extreme.
Overall a sensational brunch was had and abundant thanks to the venue, all the staff and Mr Carter for allowing us to enjoy the Darlo Country Club Brunch Club.
Darlo Country Club Deets:
235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW
Phone: (02) 9380 4279
Wednesdays: 5pm to 12am
Thursdays to Saturdays: 5pm to 2am
SATURDAY BRUNCH CLUB BY BOOKING ONLY – from 1130am.
*** 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.