One pleasant Friday evening, my fellow small-bar-loving buddies and I are feeling inspired. We decide to make a pit stop at Hinky Dinks, a new bar in Darlinghurst. The venue has a diner-like vibe to it, but it's actually far from a diner because of its classy cocktails and refined bar food menu.
There's a retro feel to this bar, effected by a colourful interior of pastel green and red, offset with black-and-white checked floors.The kind gentleman who greets us upon entering informs us that there aren't any tables free, so we sit at the bar. This turns out to be a brilliant move because we get to watch the bartenders in action.
I'm feeling a bit peckish at this point, so I decide to try the Asparagus Vinaigrette (asparagus, poached egg, parsley and parmesan - $12) with my glass of bubbly. The others are feeling a bit more adventurous and opt for cocktails.
Apparently you're only allowed to have two Zombies a night at Hinky Dinks. On the menu it says "only 2 per night: Hinky's rules!". And this is probably because it's mighty potent - silver, aged & OP rums, Luxardo, cinnamon syrup, fresh lime, passionfruit and grapefruit juice with an absinthe flame. I can't say I'm a fan of this drink only because it's so strong, but the others do like it.
The Flor de Jalisco, on the other hand I like a lot. This is surprising because I'm normally not much a Tequila-girl. Containing Cazadores Blanco, fresh lime, triple sec, grapefruit bitters, blood orange and coriander gastrique, the Flor de Jalisco has a lovely citrus aroma that I enjoy.
The Hinky Fizz is made with a housemade strawberry and prosecco sorbet, Bombay Sapphire, elderflower liqueur, peach bitters and grapefruit fizz. It's 'very ginny' as one of my friends points out (what a crafty piece of insight, seeing as it contains Bombay) . But I try it, and I have to say he's right. The gin taste is a little bit too overwhelming for me, though gin fans would probably disagree. Otherwise, I love the idea of the sorbet, the little umbrella and the ice cream cup it comes in.
Ever-so-adventurous Miss D tries a cocktail that looks just like a milkshake, complete with red-and-white paper straw. Very cute and very milkshake-y. I definitely like this one. (Sorry, I forgot what it was called, and didn't take a picture of that page of the menu - silly me.)
My Asparagus Vinaigrette turns out to be lovely. The poached egg is perfectly cooked, and along with the parmesan and croutons, the dish comes together nicely. It probably sounds strange to be eating an egg dish like this late in the evening - most people are probably more inclined to eat poached eggs for breakfast. But I have to say it was just perfect for a late-night snack.
A few more of our friends arrive, so we have to move to one of the tables near the window. Here you can look out onto Darlinghurst Road and the infamous Coke sign at Kings Cross.
The staff tells us that this is not a 'standing bar', which means if it ever overcrowds, they'll be in a pickle. But I have to say all in all the service here is outstanding. Even the waitress (I've forgotten her name now) tolerates our silly ramblings about whether one of my friends is ruggedly good-looking or dishevelled. She answers with the former. Well-played. I suspect she received a hefty tip from my supposedly good-looking friend.
At midnight we have to leave the premises because of their licensing, which is a shame because I think we could have happily stayed here for another few hours. All in all, a great little find!