King’s Cross was world renowned as a hotbed of passion, violence, intellect, art and mischief for decades. It’s currently undergoing a rebrand – great coffee and small bars are popping up, nestled side by side with the historic strip joints and greasy spoons. Case in point: Dulcie’s.
Bringing a touch of class back to the strip, Dulcie’s is the brain child of Brandon Martignago. With a strong hospitality and theatre direction background, he has perfectly paired boho chic with a dash of modern glamour to this basement bar.
You’ll find the neon red Dulcie’s sign sandwiched between a tattoo parlour and a betting shop within metres of King’s Cross station. Naturally, the intimate space was originally a strip joint, even appearing in the Underbelly series – if the mirrors didn’t give it away, the heritage neon Stripperama signs in the bathrooms certainly would!
From the red velvet stools at the bar to the many cosy nooks perfect for sharing gossipy secrets or dangerous liaisons, Brandon has lovingly recreated an old style cocktail parlour that gives you a slice of bohemian life.
The drinks list is proudly Australian and the team’s encyclopedic knowledge of what’s hot on the spirit scene comes to the fore in creative cocktails that each pay homage to local characters. The go-to is the Darling Juanita, which is the perfect cool cocktail for hot nights with gin, cucumber juice, basil and citrus. The Martinez is an incredibly moreish concoction of McHenry dry gin, sweet vermouth and orange bitters – just the right balance of sweet, dry and bitter. The Bold and Unforgettable is a powerful mix of Poltergeist gin and Causes and Cures semi-dry vermouth dressed with rosemary. One was delicious, two would be delightful, three would be downright dangerous!
The cocktails and ambience steal the show, but there’s also a select Australian wine and beer list along with a nibbles platter to soak up the tipples. Keep an eye out for regular performance nights in keeping with the bohemian roots of Kings Cross, think readings, piano performances, sultry singers and burlesque nights (have to make the most of those mirrors!).
Dulcie’s playfully masters rekindling a bohemian era that gives a nod to the Cross’ infamous past infused with a modern Australian spin. It’s the perfect spot for a pre- or post-intimate drink and tete-a-tete. Put on your red lipstick, leave your phone at home and take yourself back to a more mischievous time.
44B Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross
Tues-Sun 5pm till late