Miss Marley’s & In Situ

Miss Marley’s, according to it’s website is a “unique take on the small bar concept where 1950′s style vintage glam meets the passion of Central and South America.” I would have to mostly agree with that description. The silver wallpaper with plants and butterflies on it gives it a funky feel, furthered by the mood lighting. Quite a different vibe to Safety Wolf, which was more Surry Hills hole in the wall bar style.

The menu is divided into Bar Bites, Small Plates, Share Plates, Signature Serves and After Dinner. Because as we arrived without a booking, we’re told that we have to be out in under an hour. We randomly point at cocktails, without properly looking at them and order from the share plate and signature serves menu as quick as e possibly can. I’ll have to come back another day to properly peruse the menu.

I ordered the Horse Shoe Bramble – Herradura blanco smashed with fresh lime & agave water. Served tall with crushed ice & crowned with creme de mure. ($17). I decide on this cocktail as it’s the first cocktail on the menu and we have to order fast! Unfortunately Miss Marley’s is a tequila bar. For myself, and my fellow drinkers/ diners of this evening, the smell of tequila conjures up bad memories from our first experiences with alcohol that all ended badly. My cocktail really tasted like tequila. Because the taste of tequila is so repugnant to myself, I couldn’t really taste any of the other flavours in the cocktail. When the ice had melted quite a lot, diluting the tequila, I found it drinkable. I have a feeling that I’m not going to be the best judge of the cocktails at this bar!

Horse Shoe Bramble

The girls ordered various other cocktail (as above), which they also chose within seconds. These also tasted like tequila. (I told you I was going to be a very poor judge of these cocktails!) And yes, we could only taste one ingredient in these cocktails (perfect if you love tequila). Miss Marley’s of course, also has other alcoholic beverages on its menu, we just always love choosing a few cocktails when we’re out. Maybe next time we can stick to a nice bottle of wine instead…

Share Plate- Navajo Quesadilla
Braised pork & red beans with sour cream & guacamole

We decided from the Share Plate section of the menu to order the Navajo Quesadilla
Braised pork & red beans with sour cream & guacamole
($14). This had a delightful smoky pork flavour, as if the pork had been smoked to that magical point where the meat simply falls of the bone. It was succulent and worked well with the other contents of the quasadilla. The guacamole was tangy and offset the richness of the meat perfectly.

Signature Serve – Spice baked squid
Filled with a crisp jamon & kipfler potato salad

Next we ordered from the Signature Serve section of the menu and ordered the  Signature Serve – Spice baked squid. Filled with a crisp jamon & kipfler potato salad ($17). The waiter even gave us another serve, as he said it was such a small serve. We were doubly impressed. The squid had a delicate slightly chilli flavour to it and had pieces of jamon and potato pressed into slices cut into the squid.The presentation of this meal also scored high points from myself.

The duck with an orange and chilli salsa was one of the stand-outs of the evening. The citrus acidity of the orange cut through the fattiness of the roast duck with it’s rich glaze. Although the size of the meal was quite small, I felt that it was just the right amount.

The one meal that we ordered that we weren’t very impressed with was the green chicken curry served with wild rice. (Although it definitely was not the fluro yellow that it appears to be in the image!) The problem with this meal was that it was cheesy. Really cheesy. Strangely cheesy for a curry. Some vegetables such as blanched green beans would also have been a nice addition to this meal. I haven’t had my taste buds confused like this for quite some time. The cheese made the curry sweet. I wouldn’t recommend this meal.

The 8.30pm booking finally turned up to claim our table, but luckily we were able to move to another area with a lower table and extremely comfy seats. The seating on one side is the restaurant section and the other is the bar section, although you can eat in both. Miss B had her heart set on the lime tart, however, they didn’t have any left. We decided it would be time to move onto another venue, although Miss Marley’s is the kind of restaurant/ bar that you could easily stay at all night. I love the wallpaper, the unassuming entrance, exposed lightbulbs, lamps and comfy seats. It’s stylish without being too cluttered or trying too hard. We were also impressed by the astro-turf on the walls of the ladies bathroom. I can imagine people who’ve had a little too much to drink might end up stroking the walls in here all night!

Next up:  In Situ. In Situ has amazing cocktails. I’ve never been dissappointed. What I don’t like is the bar staff. We ended up believing that they were actually avoiding eye contact with us, in order not to serve us. A bit too cool for school perhaps.

I like the lit up bar wall with the drinks displayed on it, the large round mirrors, the beads hanging from the ceiling and the fake plants all over the ceiling. On Friday night when we went there was a singer with an acoustic guitar singing Ben Harper and Jack Johnson covers. Being so close to the beach, this was the perfect vibe to go for. Later that night a dj took over. Even when we got there around 9pm on a Friday night In Situ was absolutely packed and by the time we left we had to actually barge through the crowd with our elbows out to get through to the exit.

To the left: Soviet Kiss
Absolut vodka, fresh raspberries and strawberries
with a splash of lemon and cinnamon topped with
sparkling wine


To the right: a cocktail with cinnamon on the edges, like a dessert cocktail with a milky, sweet taste. Amazing!

On the cocktail menu we all had eyes for the same drink. Luckily I ordered it first, much to everyone’s displeasure. (You do have to try out lots of different cocktails after all girls!) It was a milky, sweet cocktail with cinnamon on the edges of the glass. The cinnamon made every sip utterly amazing. This is the perfect dessert cocktail!

Apple and Basil Martini
Polish Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, shaken with
crushed green apples, pomme de verte and fresh
basil. Like a summers day in a Polish garden


The Apple and Basil Martini was quite a strong cocktail, hence it’s half serve size. Out of all of the cocktails, it was our least favourite. This was due to the high strength of the cocktail.

French ciroc vodka shaken with elderflower and
fresh grapes. Served crisply, straight up

Eden was a refreshing mixture of elderflower and fresh grapes with vodka. This wasn’t as strong as the Apple and Basil Martini, making it a far more drinkable cocktail that you could taste all of the ingredients in.

Roma tomato, spanish onion and fresh basil


I got a little peckish again, so I ordered the Bruschetta. Roma tomato, spanish onion and fresh basil. There is also a mushroom and rocket style Brushetta on the menu. The balsamic reduction was sweet and tangy and the rocket strong and fresh. The bread was a little hard to cut through the edges, as it was a fresh, crunchy style bread. This hit the spot despite the ugly red serving plate, which was quite garish and clashed with the colours in my food. (Yes, yes, I know I’m being picky).

Miss B ordered the crepe suzette, which she described as having a great filing, despite its plain appearance. We were both happy with our after dinner snacks/ dessert.

Jug of In Situ style Sangria
We asked our friendly waiter whether the Pimms or Sangria jug was better. They recommended the Sangria, which we ended up ordering. The large pieces of orange were a nice addition to the sangria. The jug was a little tacky, but we loved the one small glass cup with a handle. The sangria was refreshing and perfect for hot summer weather.
In Situ at lunch time, where you can get close to the section where the musician plays
A pic taken on another occasion also at lunch time, where you can actually see the bar area. It was far too packed at night time to be able to get this view!
We decided to call it a night. Until next time…
In Situ on Urbanspoon
7 Responses to “Miss Marley’s & In Situ”
  1. Paul says:

    love the arty wonky photos….or were you just a little drunk? :)

  2. Miss Feathers says:

    Haha a little from column A, a little from column B! Trying to crop people's faces out of pics is hard!

  3. Miss B says:

    Eugh tequila!

  4. The Boy says:

    It was pretty good when i went there, although Tequila makes me go wrong, so I shouldn’t have much :)

  5. Don fulano says:

    Miss marleys and insitu can not even be compared. Miss marleys has amazing cocktails and the bar staff know their shit! easily the best bar in manly.

    • Miss Feathers says:

      I agree. Insitu is lacking in the vibe and customer service and you end up feeling packed in like a sardine around the bar. But you have to admit they do some great cocktails, even if they are served by surly bar staff.

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