REVIEW: Bar De Thé

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Darlinghurst’s newest venue Bar De Thé can be pretty accurately summed up by one of its off-menu cocktails: the gold leaf martini. It’s a standard American martini, but for 20 minutes, head bartender Ana Page will carefully wrap your martini glass in gold leaf. It doesn’t affect the taste at all, but it does cost $100.

‘Style over substance’ is hardly a new concept when it comes to eating and drinking in the Eastern Suburbs. Bar De Thé’s style is hilariously extravagant, from the bow ties on the bar staff to the floor-to-ceiling marble (has anybody tried to rack up on the wall yet?), yet the substance behind all the extravagance is quite good.

Martinis make up most of the drinks menu, and the classics are excellent – dirty, wet or with an olive wrapped in delicious gold leaf (for the paltry sum of $40 it’s a much more affordable way to waste your money). The signature martinis range from acceptably adventurous to kale-infused, the ‘Six Bébé’ with Vietnamese mint and lime being the standout.

The bar menu (and full dining menu downstairs at Salon De Thé) is French-Vietnamese, which means some of the dishes have the word ‘Vietnamese’ in their menu description. Our jasmine rice chips were delivered to our table looking like polenta fries, but are thankfully ten billion times tastier than polenta fries – crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Just another “this might have been shit but it’s actually really good!” moment that Bar De Thé may become famous for.

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