Take a journey up the stairs of the Hotel Coronation on Park Street and introduce yourself to The Smoking Panda. Think old school 1970’s west coast meets the orient. This chilled east-meets-west bar specialises in world class cocktails, has a superb wine list and irresistible pan-asian bites.
Harvey’s Headbanger’ $17.
Our first (of many) cocktail of the night made with gin, green chartreuse, maraschino, fresh lime this zingy drink is served straight up with candied lime.
Old & Spiced ($17)
Due to the fact that I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm on any given night I’ve earned the nickname ‘Old Soul’. So when I saw the Old & Spiced on the menu it was a no-brainer. Comprising of aged spice rum, Chinese 5 spice, house made ginger beer and candied ginger the old spice mug it was served it made me feel like one of those old drunks who hide their booze in their coffee mugs getting drunk and 9 in the morning. A future I hope to one day be apart of…
The ‘Blue Lagoon’ ($17)
Another great cocktail made with gin, vodka, blue Curacao, lychee, dragon fruit, and lemonade foam and served long and blue. While I was a little disappoint it didn’t come with a half naked Brooke Shields or Christopher Atkins the popping candy made up for it (kinda).
Panda Negroni ($18)
A new spin on an old fashion favourite, the usual gin has been replaced with and aged tequila then mixed with panda house made spiced campari syrup and dolin sweet vermouth. Served short over chipped ice with candied orange.
Smoked ‘Whiskey Sour’
An interesting drink with some theatrics to it. Composed of cherry soaked bourbon, sweet and sour, fresh citrus.
Served short over ice the cocktail is placed in a smoking chamber and pumped with bourbon infused cherry wood smoke. While you might think its all just for show, I tried one with and without the infusion and I can honestly tell you it make a big (and delicious) difference
Hot Smokin’ Mexican Jerk ($17)
Are you ready for some heat?!? Smoked Silver tequila, chipotle, adobo, agave, fresh ginger, capsicum, fresh lime mixed into a spicy concoction AND garnished with BEEF JERKY & CRISPY BACON! I’d say ‘not for the faint hearted’ but I think everyone should give this one a try just for fun. Even if you dont like it there’s always bacon to fall back on.
San Choy Bau ($5 each)
An with copious amounts of alcohol comes copious amounts of food. I really liked this san choy bau, particularly because instead of mince or duck it was with a very tender and flavoursome beef short rib.
Prawn Toast ($12)
My favourite snack of the night was the Prawn Toast. Crispy yet soft and packed full of prawn goodness they had a lovely hint of spice that was made even better with a squeeze of lemon and a dunk on the sweet and sour sauce.
Steamed XO Soft Shell Crab Slider (12)
Next was an amazing Steamed XO Soft Shell Crab Slider. The beautifully soft bun and crispy crab worked so well together. These were definitely a hit with everyone on the table.
Duck Spring Rolls ($12)
Duck in a spring roll was relatively new to me so I really did enjoy these. Make sure you lather them in the plum sauce to combine all those great flavours.
Mai Tai ($17)
Its tiki time! Light rum, dark rum, orgeat, pineapple juice. Served long over ice in a tiki mug the cocktail was refreshingly tropical. Lets just say by the end of it I was smiling bigger than the tiki man on the mug.
Corn Dog & Onion Rings ($15)
I haven’t had a corn dog since the 2005 Easter Show so I was pretty excited to bite into one of these. The sweet crispy dough and savoury dog brought waves of prepubescent nostalgia flooding in. A nice little treat to drink with. The onion rings weren’t bad either.
Deep Fried Ice Cream, Coconut & Rum Affogatto ($17)
On to dessert and this one really killed it. The coconut & rum affogatto was creamy with a nice coffee punch. The green tea ice cream had a lovely subtle flavour that wasn’t too overwhelming and allowed for the coconut in the batter to work its magic. I’d love to see some other Asian ice cream flavours in the like taro, black sesame or even red bean introduced in the future.
Dunkin Doughnut Martini ($17)
And to finish it all off I of course had to have a dessert cocktail. Enter the Dunkin Doughnut Martini. Dark rum, bourbon, fresh vanilla beans, vanilla liqueur, butterscotch liqueur, doughnut syrup (I have no idea what that is but it sounds Ah-Mazing). Served straight up in a martini glass and garnished with a mini doughnut this was the perfect end of the night treat.
The Smoking Panda is a great addition to the Sydney bar scene bring high quality cocktails and food to a casual environment. Perfect for after work drinks or even a chilled night out with mates.
2 Hungry Guys dined as guests of The Smoking Panda