The lights are always down low in Libertine Bar and Restaurant, regardless of the time of day. The moody ambience suits the location, nestled inside the historic, heritage-listed Barracks precinct.
Owner Andrew Baturo has decked out the space to match, combining locally sourced, recycled wood furniture with cascading chandeliers and gold-tinged wallpaper. Only the upswell of chatter come mid-evening breaks the restaurant's quiet, evocative atmosphere.
The menu once mixed French and Vietnamese flavours liberally, but these days it leans more heavily to the Asian side, with Chinese and Japanese getting the occasional look in too. There’s shared plate and street food options such as crispy parmesan baby squid with sriracha; barbeque duck crepes; and san choi bao.
The wine list stays true to the French theme, encompassing bottles from the Loire Valley, Alsace and Burgundy, with many local supplements. The range of spirits is more befitting of a bar, given the half page of whiskies and equally large collection of rum and tequila. These come together best in cocktail pitchers, such as the gin-based fruity concoction Red Panda, or the spicy vodka drink Hey Gurrl.