Emerging from the site of an old auto shop in Darlinghurst is The Emerald Room, an alluring establishment offering a blend of live cabaret, music, burlesque and acrobatics – plus an enticing menu with drinks to match. The name is a nod to Sydney’s old moniker – the Emerald City – and to the long-awaited resurgence of our nightlife.

The venue comes courtesy of Brandon Martignago and Joshua Pullen – Dulcie’s owner and general manager, who together make up Harbour City Hospitality – in collaboration with cabaret star Brendan de la Hay, who spearheaded the creative direction.

“The concept for The Emerald Room emerged from a casual conversation on Instagram,” de la Hay tells Broadsheet. “When we found the space, it was more about trying to imagine what Sydney lacked, taking inspiration from the past and the kind of venues we don’t have anymore. That conversation [between me and Brandon] evolved into this slightly crazy, outrageous space where old-world glamour reigns supreme.”

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True to its name, The Emerald Room dazzles in various shades of green, showcasing design pieces by local artists. There’s bespoke wallpaper by House of Heras, table tops by the sustainability masters at Marrickville’s Defy Design and custom neons by Electric Confetti. De la Hay looked to 1960s cabaret rooms in London, New York and Paris for inspiration, filling the Kings Cross space with gold accents, green marble and plush velvet.

The venue’s main attraction is undoubtedly the theatrics. Right now, it’s staging A Marvellous Party, a show blending Cirque du Soleil-inspired acrobatics, burlesque and cabaret, with costumes designed by de la Hay himself. You might catch cabaret star Catherine Alcorn, burlesque artist Porcelain Alice, chanteuse Pia Andersen and jazz singer Monica Trapaga (of ‘90s Play School fame).

When heading to The Emerald Room – which bills itself as the city’s “most salacious supper club” – choose from a dinner-and-show package (where you’ll feast on three courses, with an option for vegans), a luxe champagne-and-oysters offering, or just the tickets (you can order à la carte).

The menu – by head chefs Nina “Teddie” Huynh (ex-Yellow, Monopole, Cirrus, Dean & Nancy on 22) and Elijah Attard (ex-Yellow) – leans into Australiana. Highlights include yellowfin tuna with smoked sour cream and pomelo, a playful doughnut plump with strawberry-gum jam, and a charcuterie board with LP’s salami, preserved cucamelon and fennel-pollen lavosh.

The cocktail menu has been crafted by Dulcie’s bartender Nick Chapman. Find inventive drinks like the Sidney Sipper, where fat-washed Buffalo Trace bourbon meets the slight spice of tonka-bean demerara syrup. There’s a playful upgrade to a classic Bellini too, topped with peach foam, and a dedicated Martini menu.

April will bring extended trading hours, and a late-night service aptly named Nightcap.

“We want people to dress up and make an event of a night here,” de la Hay says. “We want Sydneysiders to have a favourite haunt again that is constantly evolving so there will always be a new story to tell.”

The Emerald Room
Level 1/235 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

Wed to Sat 5.30pm–midnight