Darlo Country Club
Get a brunch worth dressing up for at Darlinghurst’s schmick cocktail bar. By Emily Lloyd-Tait
WE CAN’T ALL be millionaires, but over the Saturday brunch at Darlo Country Club you can certainly pretend you belong among the high flyers for something closer to cattle class prices. Of an evening this is a cocktail party parlour that builds to club-night vibes by the end of the week, but for the last year the DCC has also been opening bright and early – from 11.30am on Saturday – to serve a $65 set brunch menu and facilitate a little classy day drinking.
It’s worth booking ahead because people are really digging the AM vibes here. Hens, birthdays and dates are taking up most of the horseshoe booths and long tables and people have dressed for the occasion.
Delicate, floral white peach Bellinis are served on arrival, or you can have your bubbles straight or laced with OJ, followed by a palate primer of strawberries, blueberries and granola soaked in acidic passion fruit and topped with yoghurt. Next up is a platter of supple gravlax with dill crème fraîche, cream cheese and snow-white whipped butter that’s unfortunately rock hard out of the fridge. The bread basket has something akin to a Turkish simit in it, plus sourdough to pile with the fish, cream, tomato slices, red onion and capers. If the brunch had stopped here we would have been happy – this is the winning course.
The shakshuka could have used a heavier hand with the seasoning to mellow that tomato sugo flavour, and juicy chicken pieces on a salad of green grapes, candied walnuts and cos lettuce supplies a firm nod to American salad sensibilities. By the time the golden fried French toast filled with molten Nutella and banana arrives you might just regret wearing anything tailored – forgiving fabrics are key to comfort.
As if the set menu isn’t enough you can upgrade with a three-hour Champagne package in $20 increments, or order a bonedry gin Martini from the roving cocktail cart, because at this point you may as well ask yourself ‘What would Paris Hilton do?’ We assume the answer is ‘get a little day buzzed in what looks a lot like a dusky pink LA country club’ and we can honestly attest to it being a properly fun time. Ò235 Victoria St, Darlinghurst 2010. www.darlocountryclub.com.au. Thu-Sat 5pm-2am.