New Orleans is known as The Big Easy due to it’s vibrant nightlife, music, spicy flavours, southern hospitality and mardi gras. The spirit of this historic melting pot has been captured by bar czar Doug Laming (ex-Rabbit Hole and BRIX Distillery) and his partner Merlin Kibe in Darlinghurst’s famous Stanley St.
The two storey terrace features lots of timber, trinkets, greenery and voodoo art courtesy of Sydney artists Kentaro Yoshida and Natty B which creates a chilled and funky atmosphere. You know you’re in serious cocktail territory when the bottom of the menu states ‘Turn the page; HOLY SHIT there is more’! Doug’s passion for quality, no BS cocktails shines through with a focus on bourbon, rye and gin providing a twist on traditional New Orleans roots.
Try the caramel, toasty ‘Rum Yo Mouth’ featuring Chairmans Spiced Rum and Gold Rum, Campari, Passionfruit and Pomegranate based on the traditional Hurricane. The extremely drinkable ‘Vookray’ packs a refreshing punch with bourbon, whiskey, DOM Benedictine, 2 types of bitters and a dash of dry based on the classic Vieux Carre. If you feel daunted by 4 pages of cocktail options, trust the friendly staff to expertly pair your tastes with one of their treats.
The menu features a tight list of (mostly) healthy and light snacks and mains based on Cajun and Creole cooking, all perfect for sharing with good company. The beef jerky is not to be missed – forget the store bought stuff, this is the real deal! It is super tender, juicy and thanks to the wagyu beef spending 2 days marinating in Southern Comfort and Spicy Chipotle Tabasco, it has a subtle sweet and spicy hit. The Andouille sausage with pickled tomatillos and Tabasco gel has a kick that pairs perfectly with the fast favourite Manspritz – think an Aperol spritz taken to the next level with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Stones Green Ginger wine and lime. Take a reprieve from the spices with the plump coconut cream giant shrimp. For mains, the medium rare, Cajun rubbed skirt steak with pickled red onion and salsa verde is an absolute melt in your mouth must try, along with some cheeky fries that are perfectly crisp (why not?!).
The Big Easy in Darlinghurst’s vibrant Stanley St is a modern Aussie riff on the historical melting pot of New Orleans’ voodoo / hoodoo culture. It slings serious drinks without the try-hard BS and a definite tongue in cheek attitude, so bring your buddies for a relaxed evening of grown up fun.
The Big Easy
77 Stanley St, Darlinghurst
Opening hours: Wed – Fri 4pm – late, Sat – Sun 1pm – late