Following branches in nearby Darlinghurst and Randwick, the third Li’l Darlin bar is not much different. The menu is identical to the other two and the general vibe (fake trees, fairy lights, shared tapas and rectangular pizzas) remains, but this corner venue is cosier. Formerly a patisserie, the building has seen a few management changes over the years without much success, but Li’l Darlin seems to have cracked it.
At Surry Hills, the staff are eagerly attentive and the crowd is quite varied, in age and fashion sense. The emphasis is on sharing, with large tables to accommodate groups or to encourage mingling.
This feels more like a bar than the Darlo alternative, with more drinks flowing, and in this capacity, the food is excellent and inexpensive.