Some late-night venues in Kings Cross have reinvented themselves in the wake of the inner-city lock-out laws. Darius Rountree-Harrison of Geisha Haus, a slick new sushi lounge and bar inside Beach Haus nightclub, is quick to point-out the laws’ silver lining. “It has been a blessing in disguise. We’re now seeing a more sophisticated customer base, and as a licensee, I’m actually in favour of them,” says Rountree-Harrison.
Keen to showcase his passion for fine-dining and molecular cocktails, this qualified scientist is the creative force behind the food and drinks at Geisha Haus.
“I really love Heston Blumenthal’s and Grant Collins’ take on food and cocktails. Being a scientist, that’s always appealed to me. My mum worked in theatre and I’ve grown up with that sense of theatrics you get using things like fire and dry ice in a cocktail,” says Rountree-Harrison.
Chef RK Tamang, previously of Sokyo and Flying Fish, heads up the kitchen, where traditional dishes including tempura, sashimi, carpaccio and sushi are given contemporary tweaks. As for the drinks, it’s also about putting a twist on tradition.
“All the cocktails are based around a Japanese tea ceremony. With our cocktails and food, we’re trying to capture that beauty and the elaborate procedures and presentation of all the products used,” says Rountree-Harrison.
Try the Smoking Geisha, with mezcal tequila, Russian caravan tea and pomegranate molasses cocktail, which is poured into a decanter with cinnamon smoke. Or the Green Tea Martini, which begins with the waitress preparing matcha tea at the table before adding dry ice to cool it down as it bubbles away. She then shakes it before removing the liquid nitrogen from the glass to pour inside.