Influenced by the energy of post-war Europe, Kittyhawk is a handsome bar and restaurant from the team behind Big Poppa’s and The Lobo, two of Sydney’s sharpest venues. While The Lobo feels like a Caribbean interlude from a Hemingway novel, Kittyhawk imagines liberation day in Paris, when American and French soldiers reclaimed the city during World War II.
At the bar, it’s all about rum and rye. There’s a list dedicated to the Old Fashioned, featuring 10 versions of the classic drink pairing rare varieties of the aforementioned spirits. Other cocktails include the Old Grogram, made with spiced rye, the bar’s own “stout” vermouth (made with beer and spices), lemon, and aromatic sugar syrup. It’s served with a flaming cinnamon quill for theatrical effect.
French, Italian and Australian drops populate the wine list, but it’s the French selection that truly sings, with picks from regions including Burgundy, Jura and Beaujolais. Beers, on the other hand, are all local.
The kitchen takes French influences and applies them to a menu edging on modern Australian. Start with a bump of Siberian caviar and a nip of Grey Goose vodka, before moving on to a plate of tuna crudo or grilled king prawns swimming in miso butter. Other highlights might include tender beef brisket with leek and chimichurri, and whole roasted cauliflower with beurre noisette and capsicum. Tartare, pate and beautiful steaks speak to the French theme.
With room for around 175 diners, the room is divided into different areas, including a raised section with leather booths, and a stately front conservatory with city views. There’s also a variety of military paraphernalia on display, including a large painting of Kittyhawks (a fighter aircraft) buzzing through the sky.
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