The Big Easy
77 Stanley St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Wednesday to Friday 4pm – late
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – late
Chilled vibes, sufficiently spiced and abundantly humble. It really is The Big Easy.
The Big Easy has made a permanent stay in Sydney’s inner east. Think an eclectic mix of French, African and American culture that’s thoroughly laced with spice and sprinkled with a healthy dose of liquor.
The Big Easy owners, Doug Laming and his partner Merlin Kibe, invite revellers to chill out in their whimsical watering hole, where the walls lightly resonate with infectious anthems, affording the right level of sociability and comfort.
Take a stroll inside from the relentless street and find yourself among plenty of lively locals. But as lively as it can get, this place is all about chilling, whether it’s within the eccentrical bar space, in the sophisticated backyard, in the cosy upstairs lounge room or the rustic rooftop. And if you end up here on a sunny Sunday afternoon, expect to see some live entertainment in the backyard.
But before you get too comfortable, be sure to select your imbibement. The menu is aptly called the Book of Hoodoo, which is quaintly New Orleans. You won’t find any standard cocktails in this menu, just plenty of expected puns and tongue-in-cheek terminology.
For a safe and sweet bet, we recommend ordering the Basic Bitch ($20). It’s shaken up with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fiorente Elderflower Liqueur, lychee, rhubarb bitters, “Sem Savvy Bae” and lemon. As you can tell, the Basic Bitch ain’t that basic.
Or perhaps you require a dash of potassium, and for that we suggest The Baron ($21). It’s stirred with Jack Daniels, Cargo Cult Banana Rum, Lustau PX Sherry, vanilla, black walnut bitters, cinnamon smoke and sarsaparilla bitters. It’s the most unusual taste, but somehow it seamlessly works.
And if the cocktails don’t pique your interest, the vino, brews and bubbles that follow surely must. Whether it’s locally sourced liquid gold, French pop or American brew to grow some hair on your chest. Pabst Blue Ribbon, anyone?
As well as groovy vibes and hearty chingwang, another wonderful match for boozy afternoons is food. Food, glorious food. And if you’ve yet to try the quirky flavours of New Orleans, you’re in for a treat!
First and foremost, while nuts, crisps and perhaps pretzels are the perfect snacks at other bars, a distinctive snack at The Big Easy is homemade beef jerky – Tajima Wagyu beef jerky ($10). Pair this small snack with a rum-flavoured cocktail and you’re on your way to euphoria.
But we recommend filling that gurgling stomach of yours with The Big Easy’s main dishes. Try the Seared Riverina Angus MB2-4 skirt steak ($29) served medium rare and perfectly sliced for sharing. Topped with pickled red onion, mustard greens, cajun rub and salsa verde, it’s juicy as well as eloquently spicy – but definitely not to be mistaken for chilli.
And if you’re after something truly New Orleans, go for the Big Easy Jambalaya ($28). It’s a unique, traditional, Louisiana dish, served with andouille sausage and grilled shrimp on a juicy bed of Creole-style rice. We challenge you to find another bar in Sydney that serves jambalaya. Good luck!
It may be a small selection of eats, but we assure you it packs plenty of punches.
Found in the heart and soul of Darlinghurst, The Big Easy is the quintessential spot to soak up the flavours and frivolity of New Orleans culture. You’ll be surprised how flawlessly The Big Easy fits into Sydney (and even Australian) culture. Whether it’s a clink of pints with mates, a degustation adventure with sophisticated friends or a silly Sunday session with the girls, it makes for a superb outing.
And as a final note, be sure to ask the nearby bartenders about the sultry hidden features in the staircase mural. It’s too naughty for us to mention here!
Editors note: Hunter and Bligh was gifted an experience with The Big Easy. All reviews are authentic and are in no way influenced by our partnership.