Rambutan, Shady Pines Saloon and The Flinders
Being the silly season in Sydney at the moment, we had to wait forever to get our table (which was booked) and had to line up at every bar. Despite this, Rambutan, Shady Pines Saloon and the Flinders are all worth recommending.
First up, Rambutan. Whilst waiting for our table, we decided to order my two favourite cocktails at Rambutan in the Tiki Lounge downstairs. The reason for this, is the drinking vessel that they are served in. Although on previous visits, I remember being impressed with their other cocktails, such as Thai me up, Thai me down Sangria, which is a refreshing white sangria served in a jug, I can never go past a drink served in a giant Tiki glass or cocktail. The Flaming Lemon & Ginger Pina Colada is served in a cocktail and has a generous serving of Appleton VX in it. Dr Phil’s Famous Flaming Rum Punch also has Appleton VX and is a rum based drinks that makes you instantly feel like you’re on holidays. Especially when it’s sitting next to another cocktail that’s in a coconut. Anther reason to order these two cocktails is the fact that they both get set on fire! What’s not to love about that?!
The downstairs Tiki Lounge is my favourite section of Rambutan. It’s got funky lamps, a lit up aquarium and apparently the mint green stools are designed by Philippe Starck. By the time our cocktails were almost empty, it was time to eat. We skipped entrees in favour of our mains coming earlier and ordered the Blue swimmer crab Lon with yellow bean & green mango and wok fried King Prawns with pong gari and coconut cream, baby corn & curry leaf. In hindsight, I wouldn’t recommend going for a giant coconut based cocktail followed by meals with coconut cream in them. I ended up feeling like I could have exploded, despite the food and cocktails being amazing!
The prawns were cooked perfectly and the curry sauce that they were sitting in was just spicy enough to be tasty, but without causing explosions in your mouth. The crab was also delicious, but by this point, I just couldn’t eat/drink much more coconut milk or cream. You could eat it in one of the betal leaves or other leaves served with it. The sprouts and cucumbert were refreshing to eat in between spoonfuls of it, to counter out the saltiness. I’m not sure if I would recommend this dish however, if you’re on a first date, because if you eat it from one of hte leaves, you will be guaranteed to get it all over you. I’ve had a banquet at Rambutan before, so I can safely say that the vast majority of their menu is amazing, including the desserts!
Next up, we were off to have a drink at Shady Pines Saloon. I’m always a sucker for a lane-way entrance. As soon as the door swings open, we’re greeted by a pioneer-style bar with crazy stuff everywhere. I love bars like this! There’s carved American Indians around the room, the stuffed heads of animals, and other random bits and pieces everywhere. There’s lots of small round tables in the room, and a good buzzing crowd. They have the most random, banjo style music playing, that’s such a nice change from the usual bar and club music in Sydney. It makes me want to get up and do some line dancing, or at least jump up on a bale of hay wearing cowboy boots and shouting “yeeeee haaawww!”
Everyone is Sydney who is sick of the usual same-same bars, has to come have a drink here. Although I feel like I’m meant to be drinking straight up whiskey or something similar here, we decide to order tow Salty Dog cocktails. Not a cocktail that you can drink fast, or the salt with get you, followed by the pieces of fresh pineapple. But these cocktails were nice and refreshing for a hot Sydney night in Summer.
We decided it was time for one more drink, and thought what better place than The Flinders? Although greeted by the “Boobs for Bubbly” sign as well as noticing that the drink of the week was a Mel Gibson: Gin + Pickled Onion + Dry Sherry, I thought I would decline both offers, and go for a beer instead.
The Flinders is the sort of pub that would be great on a week night, to catch up with some friends to grab a drink or two. By the time we got there on a Friday night, it was jam-packed with people and had obnoxious bouncers out the front. I did love the random bits and pieces hanging from the ceiling and the great selection of music. Talking Heads in a pub anyone? Again, like Shady Pines Saloon, any place in Sydney playing music that’s a bit different to everything else is always a good thing.
By this time it was time to call it a night. Until next time…