The Civilian Bar and Kitchen 
248 Palmer St
Darlinghurst, Sydney

Situated in a cool neighbourhood in Sydney's hip inner city you will find The Civilian Bar and Kitchen. Right on the ground where Sargent's Pies were once made over 100 years ago, 248 Palmer street Darlinghurst is definitely no stranger to food.

Walk up the sandstone steps into a beautiful courtyard, a place where generations of food makers have stood, the Civilian Bar and Kitchen boasts a beautiful dining area.

The space is large and open plan but perfectly heated making it a great winter choice. There is an uncovered outdoor lounge area for those that are a bit braver. As soon as we walked in we felt very welcome and although the venue was quite busy we were escorted to our table very quickly.

Our waiter asked us if we were thirsty (the answer usually is yes) so we started off with a couple of cocktails. We tend to order two different cocktails and share them and tonight was no exception to this tradition. The Big Apple was refreshing and the Jalapeno infusion gave it a real kick - definitely striking. The Smoke n Salted Passionfruit Sour had a caramel foam on top that was quite unique and kept on adding to the cocktail's flavour every time we sipped it.

This may sound surprising but we are not the biggest fans of oysters, but despite this we decided to try some on the advice of the waiter. Boy, are we glad we listened to him!!!  The apple and lime granita on these Merimbula oysters truly was a taste sensation! The natural ones were great too. I'm pretty sure we like fresh oysters now.

It was really difficult choosing from the diverse menu so we decided to take up our waiter's offer to recommend some dishes (and wine) for us. We were told to sit back and enjoy.

First up some Lamb Skewers. The lamb was tender and the yoghurt had a citrus hint to which mixed well with the cucumber, definitely a nice touch. Usually yoghurt with a lamb dish has mint or cucumber in it, but we loved the citrus flavour in this one.

The Kingfish Carpaccio was served with puffed wild rice which added a real crunch to it. When our waiter told us we were about to be served an octopus dish with pasta and broccoli, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Well, after eating it - this Broccoli Orecchiette - I'm not sure there are appropriate words to describe how delicious this dish actually was. The rosemary and lemon was a great combination with the octopus and the Persian feta was really creamy. Tick, Tick, Tick!

Four more dishes came out.  A Cape Grim Tri Tip, (which is a loin beef cut, very tender) served with some very crispy potatoes, a mushroom ragout and spinach. A very hearty dish!

A confit pork belly with apple, wasabi, celery and lemon balm. The lemon balm was a surprising addition that combined so well with the apple - it gave it a really fresh flavour. It took away the heaviness you can sometimes feel from eating pork belly.

We then tried our next main course, a very tasty poached chicken served with Madeira jus and artichoke.

We all know that it's so easy to overcook chicken and make it dry, but this certainly wasn't the case here.

The chicken was moist and tender and the Madeira jus was a very nice touch also giving it a creamy texture.

Last but not least, we tried the Fried Cauliflower which was served with the yummiest hummus we have ever tasted. We were later told the hummus was made using sheepsmilk yoghurt. What a great mix with the chickpeas! (hope we're not giving away any secrets).

As we finished our wines, a crisp Nick O'Leary Riesling and Stoner Rise Pinot Noir, we pondered about having dessert.

Actually, who are we kidding?

Of course we are going to have dessert.

It was a beautiful chocolate caramel tart served with coffee mascarpone, caramelised banana and hazelnut praline.

A very impressive dessert with mouth-watering flavours.

And there we have it - a truly great evening at The Civilian Bar and Kitchen.

The food is fantastic and the staff really know their stuff, so don't be afraid to ask them questions if you want to know more about their menu, which by the way, has not long been updated.

The Civilian Bar and Kitchen is open Wednesday and Thursday for dinner and Friday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Counts, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of The Civilian Bar and Kitchen. Special thanks to Caitlin Hawkes for arranging this visit.

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