Bars and Nightclubs
Kings Cross and Potts Point, Sydney

Le Cartel

225a Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
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People see the name Le'Cartel and it conjures up all sorts of imagery and ideas, of varying naughty measures on the ruler of life. To us though, it is really a name that means 'a group or family of people, all working together, facing in the same direction, with the same goals.

The venue itself is all about Fusion. A fusion of tastes, sights and scents, influenced by many people and cultures. On the First Floor, a 50 seat dedicated restaurant, including a 'summer ready' outdoor seated area. On the Second Floor, a superb Bar & Lounge area with both Dj's and live music ready to enjoy. A smoking balcony also exists on this level, allowing indulgence for those who do.

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Le Cartel Review

Review by Kelly Teng

You may have seen it next to the fire station. You may have walked past it. You may have unassumingly glanced at the staircase leading upstairs and said, “maybe another time”.

With the new management that has taken over Le’cartel, I’m going to tell you that the time to visit is now.

Le’cartel is an East-meets-West fusion bar and restaurant that offers cocktails and degustation over two levels. With its lower level dining area and the upper level cocktail bar, there’s an option for the foodie and the drinker - and Le'cartel certainly does attract a mix of clientele, from the university graduates to the sophisticated workers. Accentuated by the oriental theme that oozes through the bar, Le'cartel's experience is a world away from the other venues in the Darlinghurst area.

Red tones and Asian-inspired décor flood through Le’cartel, and chopsticks and Chinese tea cups sit atop the tables in the lower level. On the upper level, a painting adorns the ceiling and the wall behind the DJ’s booth is lined with records. The couch has an eclectic mix of various cushions and both levels have an outdoor area for smokers or those who just want to look out at the Victoria Street view.

The cocktail menu has been reinvented and changes every fortnight to keep patrons on their toes. At standard cocktail prices, these drinks come with a unique flair that can only be brought about by a change in management – from sweet, sour, or potent cocktails, there is a choice for every palette. For a different experience, try the Le Zombie which comes in a Tiki glass and a flaming piece of passionfruit; for a fresh drink, the Cartel No2 is not to be missed. Wines, beers, and spirits are also available for those who don’t like sipping on cocktails (but really, the cocktails are reason enough to frequent Le’cartel).

As for the food, Le’cartel’s resident chef Raja Anand whips up a menu to reflect the venue’s fusion theme. Green papaya salad, tempura zucchini flowers, and steamed atlantic salmon with miso paste are just some of the delights on the menu. For a favourite, you can’t go wrong with the chicken katzu; an interesting take on the Japanese dish, this katzu has a sprinkling of macadamia for a sweet twang.

Le’cartel is, however, undergoing a state of flux at the moment as the old is phased out to make way for the new. The venue is changing, shifting, and being refined constantly, so don’t expect everything to be the same every time.

With that being said, the experience is definitely one that is unique to the Darlinghurst area – so, carpe diem: walk up the stairs of Le’cartel and see what awaits you.

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