What do you get when you cross a DJ, an architect, a builder and a former laundromat? Throw in a couple of mates, one of which is a chef, and you have a chilled out pocket-sized drinking hole slash music venue slash café slash gallery in the back streets of Darlinghurst. The washing machines and dryers may be gone but as a reminder of what went down before the transformation, the internal and external signage has remained as well as the wall-mounted plumbing that’s become a coat rack.
Stepping inside during the day is vastly different to the night-time set-up. I felt like I was welcomed into a friends’ place, offered my choice of seat, the weekend papers and a coffee. It’s like the Darlie Laundromatic crew don’t have a care in the world; and why would you when you get to work in a place like this? As I sip my punchy macchiato flicking through the news and gossip the entire room fills with the scent of passionfruit. What the? Oh, that’s just Charlotte the chef whipping up one of the organic cordials that feature on the drinks menu.
The tiny kitchen is open for all to see a couple of steps down from the main floor. Mini hot dogs, sandwiches, dips; the menu is as varied as the vintage oddments throughout the cosy space. That glass skull vase holding blooms is a recycled Crystal Head Vodka bottle, by Dan Aykroyd. Remember Ghost Busters? Yup, that’s him. There’s a little courtyard out the back or what I think is the best room in the house – the blue room with its padded bench, plastic seats, pot plants and dangling tea towels and aprons.
Seeing it was lunch time I gave the ploughman’s platter (15) a go – Afghan flat bread, pickles, hot sopressa, quinoa tabouli, chilli jam and a don’t-mess-with-me wedge of vintage cheddar. I reckon a Pimms & lemonade would have been in order but my coffee would have to do. The Bondi locals behind Aloha Cookies have their wares on the Darlie menu as well. An icecream sandwich (8.5) after a ploughmans? Yes please! It was as easy as choosing my cookie flavour, adding a scoop of vanilla icecream and voila! From seven varieties I just had to have “The Old Ballgame” – caramel popcorn, honey roasted peanuts, cashews & chunks of toffee. Crunchy around the edges, chewy in the centre, a touch of brain freeze, yeah that’s the stuff.