The Carlisle Bar {food}

It was a night of food, cocktails and great music. I will admit before I start, I quite enjoyed the chart playlist they were playing, so if I’m going to come back, music’s definitely one of my reasons.
The Carlisle Bar 01The Carlisle Bar menu was designed by celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas, which combines Asian and Mediterranean flavours while Benjamin Hickey (bar manager), takes inspiration from ‘old New York‘ and puts a modern twist on Martinis, Manhattans & Old Fashioneds as the main classics.

You have the front bar area, which is ‘The Workman’s Bar’ and then you have the main area where all the cocktails are served with seating areas. Downstairs, you have your VIP room which is relatively small but very warm and closed with its own mini bar.

'The Workman's Bar' area

‘The Workman’s Bar’ area

the main bar

the main bar


It’s definitely not a bar unless there’s good cocktails for you to enjoy, along with tapas food! 

The Carlisle Food + Drinks

The Carlisle Food + Drinks

So first up, we had the grilled haloumi cheese. As the name suggests, it’s definitely very cheesy, but I quite enjoyed it. The decision to be served with balsamic with grape was definitely perfect. Not only was it well balanced, the taste you get from the grape and the cheese was surprisingly good! Probably one of my favourite dishes actually. The haloumi is specially made by an 86-year-old yiayia (Greek Grandmother) who distributes it to only 3 people in Sydney!

Haloumi homemade haloumi grilled and topped with grape and a balsamic reduction - on the share menu $14

Haloumi
homemade haloumi grilled and topped with grape and a balsamic reduction
– on the share menu $14

The lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet was pretty much standard. But it’s definitely a great choice to have along with drinks.

Lightly floured & fried prawn cutlet served with 3 dipping sauces: sweet chilli plum, soy terriyaki and wasabi aioli - on the share menu as 'prawn & calamari' $18

Lightly floured & fried prawn cutlet
served with 3 dipping sauces: sweet chilli plum, soy terriyaki and wasabi aioli
– on the share menu as ‘prawn & calamari’ $18

The chicken was nice but it certainly wasn’t spicy. I think it was an average dish. Not too sure if I’d pay $16 for this though! But please be mindful that as this was a Food Blogger event, the serving you see in the below image isn’t what you get for the $16, so don’t you worry!

Spicy chicken marinated spicy chicken, thigh fillets, marinated in the chef's secret sauce and BBQ’d, served sliced - on the share menu $16

Spicy chicken
marinated spicy chicken, thigh fillets, marinated in the chef’s secret sauce and BBQ’d, served sliced
– on the share menu $16

I really enjoyed the beef, especially with the mix of peppers and the sauce, along with some garlic crisps. I’m not a huge fan of beef (I have a preference for really well-cooked meat) but for this dish, I didn’t hesitate to try, and to my surprise it was nice. And was indeed ‘tender‘.

Beef Tendeloin rolled in mixed peppers, BBQ'd and served medium rare with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps - on the share menu $24

Beef Tendeloin
rolled in mixed peppers, BBQ’d and served medium rare with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps
– on the share menu $24

The special cocktails at Carlisle Bar focuses on the best gin & whiskey, pairing them with sweet and sour concoctions.

So if you’re keen for some cocktail drinks, (i), (ii) (iii) and (iv) are certainly on the $18 cocktail menu. If you don’t have great tolerance for alcohol, I definitely wouldn’t recommend the ‘Blood and Sand’.

The ‘South of the Border’ and the ‘Clover Club’ was quite light so definitely nice to try on a quiet night. The cocktails here are however, much stronger than any cocktails I’ve tried elsewhere. From experience, the Raspberry Blossom ($18) from Opera Bar was a much lighter drink than the ones tried at Carlisle Bar. As a limited selection of cocktails were served during the night, definitely have to try other drinks before making comparisons.

L-R: THE CARLISLE COCKTAILS - $18 each (i) 'Blood & Sand': Chivas + Cherry Herring + Antica  Formula + Ardbeg  + Fresh Orange. The Rich and  Powerful. (ii) 'South of the Border': Tequila + Mezcal + passionfruit + lime +  vanilla. Down Mexico Way (iii) 'Eastside Fizz': Beefeater gin + lime + mint + Perrier water + sweetness. Chillin’ Eastside (iv bottom): 'Clover Club': Aviation Gin + Lemon +  Raspberry + egg white. Sweet and Sexy

L-R: THE CARLISLE COCKTAILS – $18 each [relevant cocktails named below]
(i) ‘Blood & Sand‘: Chivas + Cherry Herring + Antica
Formula + Ardbeg + Fresh Orange. The Rich and
Powerful.
(ii) ‘South of the Border‘: Tequila + Mezcal + passionfruit + lime +
vanilla. Down Mexico Way
(iii) ‘Eastside Fizz‘: Beefeater gin + lime + mint + Perrier water + sweetness. Chillin’ Eastside
(iv bottom): ‘Clover Club’: Aviation Gin + Lemon +
Raspberry + egg white. Sweet and Sexy


Carlisle Bar is definitely a great place to hang out after work on a Friday night. No matter how bright the day is, it’s clearly quite dark inside so you’ll feel like the night has long started but it really has just ! Kings Cross is definitely not much of a safe place to hang out late on Friday night so start the night here and move back to the city if you’re having a night out.

The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed in this post represent our own only. The Finders would like to thank Bonnie from The Carlisle Bar for the invitation to visit this bar. 

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