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Potts Point nightlife with Odelia Potts

Kings Cross Distillery, Potts Point Credit: Kings Cross Distillery

Kings Cross Distillery, Potts Point

#feelnewsydney

Potts Point nightlife with Odelia Potts

Kings Cross Distillery, Potts Point Credit: Kings Cross Distillery

Kings Cross Distillery, Potts Point

#feelnewsydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney

As the sun-dappled curbside cafés of Potts Point wind down each day, this centrally located epicurean hub comes into its own. Named for the nightlife precinct that forms part of this inner-eastern Sydney suburb, Kings Cross Distillery, an urban micro-distillery, cocktail bar and restaurant rolled into one venue, is among the newest arrivals on the area’s ever-evolving after-dark scene. ‘Gin architect’ Odelia Potts, who co-owns the distillery with husband Khare Aoun, shares her top spots to spend a memorable night out in this vibrant neighbourhood.

Get in the mood with a great cocktail

If you love to kick off a night out with a great cocktail, Kings Cross Distillery, on Llankelly Place, has a concoction for all tastes, says Odelia. “If you want something bitter, we do a delicious negroni with a house-made liqueur instead of Campari, or, if you like a martini, we have our Minerva martini inspired by the historic theatre down the road [on Orwell Street]. It’s made with our Minerva Wise Cut Gin, infused with botanicals that evoke wisdom.”

Cocktail lovers looking for a taste of Australia would also be wise to step back into Prohibition-era Sydney at Dulcie’s on Darlinghurst Road, says Odelia. “They only serve Australian spirits, we which we love, including our Garden Island Navy Strength Gin.”

Kings Cross Distillery also has a wine list curated by renowned Sydney sommelier Ben Moechtar, but Odelia is also partial to trying something different at the likes of European-style wine bar Dear Sante Éloise, tucked further along Llankelly Place on the corner of Orwell Street. This laneway, which meets Darlinghurst Road at its southern tip, is the neighbourhood’s best-kept secret, according to Odelia. “People often don’t walk far enough along the lane, but there are some real gems to be found,” she says. Among them, Odelia adds, is Llankelly Thai and omakase restaurant Kisuke. With just six seats, you’ll need to get in early to secure a table at Kisuke bookings open at the stroke of midnight each day for reservations up to 30 days in advance. “There’s no menu: it changes daily, depending on what the Japanese chef buys fresh from the fish market that day, so it’s always a surprise,” Odelia says.

Dulcie's Kings Cross, Potts Point Credit: Destination NSW

Neon signage at the entrance to the Dulcie's Kings Cross, Potts Point.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Dulcie's Kings Cross, Potts Point Credit: Destination NSW

Neon signage at the entrance to the Dulcie's Kings Cross, Potts Point.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Kings Cross Hotel, Potts Point Credit: Destination NSW

The Kings Cross Hotel, Potts Point lit up for Mardi Gras weekend in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Kings Cross Hotel, Potts Point Credit: Destination NSW

The Kings Cross Hotel, Potts Point lit up for Mardi Gras weekend in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Settle in for the main course

You don’t need to walk far in compact Potts Point for a fabulous feed, with Odelia’s top suggestion for a seriously memorable meal being French degustation restaurant Metisse on Roslyn Street. “The presentation of the food is wonderfully theatrical,” says Odelia. “A dish might be served under a dome smoking with dry ice, or maybe it’s not served on a stand rather than a plate, so it’s quite special. Another favourite is Macleay Street’s Bistro Rex, a Sydney take on a Parisian bistro. “It’s popular with locals, because the food and service are consistently good,” she says.

If you’re looking for a table after 9pm, Odelia’s go-to is modern Japanese restaurant Cho Cho San on Macleay Street. “I really appreciate that their kitchen stays open a little later than most local restaurants,” she says. “They do this lovely kingfish sashimi with an incredible sesame sauce.”

Be entertained into the wee hours

For some quality evening entertainment in the area, Odelia recommends checking out what’s on at the Hayes Theatre Co on Greenknowe Avenue, dedicated to honouring the colourful history of Australian musical theatre, or Dulcie’s, which is known to host a mesmerising burlesque performance from time to time. “And the Kings Cross Hotel has always been a fantastic place to catch a drag show,” Odelia adds.

As the night wears on and the music gets louder, Odelia can sometimes be spotted on the dance floor of Kings Cross Distillery. “My mum is from Latin America, so it’s in my blood,” she says. The Distillery closes at midnight, but visitors who aren’t ready for bed yet need only amble 300 metres to Dean’s Lounge, a reinvented institution of the ‘80s and ‘90s where you can sip specialty cocktails until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, or boogie the night away at nearby Mykonos-inspired Eros on Bayswater Road, which has similarly late weekend hours. 

When you’re finally ready to hit the hay, Odelia recommends bedding down at one of the boutique hotels set in the neighbourhood’s beautiful 19th-century buildings such as the Hotel Challis or Spicers Potts Point. “If you really want to immerse yourself in the architecture of this area, these hotels are luxuriously modern but also respectful of the period,” she says.

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