Meatballs with a pleasant gourmet and gastronomic twist indeed. Regardless as to whether you're particular with your food, or you just don't mind at all, the the newly launched meatballs menu at Darlinghurst's The Gay Bar is social food that is off the charts. Literally. An absolute must with one of their cocktail offerings, with some water in between. You'll need it.
For starters, this menu was created around three weeks ago from one of Oxford Streets most professional chefs. A professional chef indeed. Mark Proudfoot is one ambitious chef who is constantly creating and re-creating The Gay Bar's menu around the clock, as well as being a food ambassador for Thomas Dux Grocers for almost four years now. Furthermore, you're in really great hands as Mark has also launched his own food label, Proud Foods, consisting of delicious gourmet sauces, where he is able to combine Shiraz, cinnamon, and poached pears into a real culinary gift.
Speaking of which, the meatballs menu allows you to choose your own sauce. Mixing it up is the answer to your culinary prayers here. It is no wonder why the chicken, pork and vegetarian meatballs are so popular already, and they're also handmade. Thank goodness for creativity and freshness. A three-step process is followed when making your selection.
Pork Meatballs with mushroom and eschallots sauce, with some bok choy.
The range of meatballs currently on the menu include organic beef, comprising of organic fed beef with some special seasonings, as well as pork with blood orange, chilli and sage. Furthermore, you can also select the chicken meatballs with pickles, garlic and bread stuffing, as well as a vegetarian range with chickpeas, hummus, parmesan and potato. If you love your peking duck pancakes, you'll also love their peking duck and plum sauce meatballs, planning to hit the menu from October 2013. The latter falls into this establishment's 'special balls' category. Just ask at the bar. No more boring meatballs, they're killed once and for all! Thank you so much to The Gay Bar for that. A special meatball submarine is due to launch in October, which will be so exciting to see, having tasted three of the meatball dishes at The Gay Bar recently.
Once you have chosen some meatballs, you need to take advantage of including some special, gourmet sauce from the sauce master himself. Choose from Italian tomato, creamy parmesan, pesto, as well as mushroom and eschallots. Once you have started it up, and have dressed it up, now it is time to drive it home. With this new 'saucy' and supreme menu, you'll be able to choose another food item for your meat balls to sit on, and every meatball dish comes with a piece of quality, gourmet bread. The selections here include three bean salsa, handmade pasta, herb potato smash, and market vegetables, of which the bok choy was cooked amazingly well.
Vegetarian Meatballs with creamy parmesan sauce and handmade pasta
Other popular food items on the menu at The Gay Bar (apart from their pizzas) include the Polenta Chips ($6), as well as the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad ($14). For those 'sweet tooths' out there, variety also reigns with a different dessert item that rotates every week or so.
Now back to the meatballs, where they shine, and they fill you up. Come here ready for a great night out, and come with an appetite. You'll most certainly need it. First up, I had the opportunity to try the Pork Meatballs ($16) with mushroom and eschallots sauce and bok choy. The pork was a little spicy, packed with some fresh herbs, and it blended in beautifully with the sauce. The mushrooms were cut to their ideal size, and were freshly cooked, in addition to the impressive bok choy. Next up, the Chicken Meatballs ($16), with Italian tomato sauce and herb potato smash was rather flavoursome. The chicken flavour was fresh and clearly toned down. Loved the Italian tomato sauce, bringing a chicken parma feel to this dish. The herb potato smash enjoyed more fresh herbs than it did the actual potato, otherwise this dish would have been potato overkill otherwise.
Finally, the Vegetarian Meatballs ($16) with creamy parmesan sauce and handmade pasta enjoyed a subtle, yet strong cheesy flavour. The pasta tasted fresh and soft in the mouth. That was great to see. Beautiful sauce that (once again) blended in perfectly with this dish.
You have permission to make a mess, and to mix it up, as you can see in a couple of the images in this article. This is where social food is super fun. Basically, you're building your own dinner, and creating your own culinary fanfare with others. How decadent. Why not, you only live once, and Oxford Street is the place to live it up, whether you're straight or gay, it doesn't matter.
The Gay Bar is ever so popular on Fridays and Saturdays, and this establishment opens from 5pm till late six days a week, and they're closed on Mondays. The beauty about their meatball menu (as well as all of their menus) is there is no need to book ahead. You can either enjoy some meatball fare at the main bar as you enter The Gay Bar from street level, or head up the colourful stairs (above ground level) to the dance floor area and enjoy. If you're at The Gay Bar on a Thursday night, enjoy some yummy meatballs, and feel free to test your general knowledge with some trivia action. Cloaking facilities are also available at this establishment. Music wise, if you love pop (think Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Katy Perry), as well as the current hip and happening dance tunes, you will love The Gay Bar.
The Gay Bar is also unique for some quality cocktails in Sydney, and it is a huge sigh of relief to be served at a bar with ever friendly staff, as well as their empathy over the many bars in Sydney that have a habit of filling up a cocktail drink with way too much ice. I absolutely loved the Kylie Minogue ($16) cocktail with a pleasant citrus, orange like flavour. Apparently this cocktail blend is one of The Gay Bar's best sellers. It came with the right amount of ice in keeping the drink cool, and yet there were many sips to enjoy, both pre-meatballs, as well as during the saucy meatball culinary experience. This cocktail is a fruity cocktail mixed with Ketel One Citroen vodka, together with passionfruit and cloudy apple. Divine. Other cocktails 'fit for a queen' at The Gay Bar include the Schlong Island Iced Tea (another popular cocktail), Judy Garland (Mark's favourite), Grace Jones, George Michael, Madonna and Mariah Carey.
Thank you Mark for this delicious food. Love the new menu.
Speaking of cocktails, I also loved spending a bit of time at The Gay Bar's elegant cocktail lounge at the gallery level, with an outdoor area where people are able to smoke outside. This area is also available for private functions, with an impressive canapé menu offering to match.
Simple yet trendy. What Darlinghurst is all about.
The Gay Bar, it's gold. One of Sydney's best kept secrets at the moment, yet when word starts to spread like wildfire, Sydney will be hooked on high quality meatballs and cocktails with a pleasant twist come dinnertime. Love it, and love it some more.