PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Imagine a hunter's cabin – antlers on the walls, dark brown colours and comfortable furniture. Now imagine a funky lounge – cushy, dark banquettes, mirrors, low-hanging textured lights and super-sized weaved ottomans. Kings Cross' funky bistro bar, The Elk, sits exactly in that happy middle spot (and has both). With darkly coloured walls, tea light candles, pieces of rustic furniture, easels and lots of dimensions and levels, a visit to this bistro feels like you've stumbled into a hunting lodge that belongs to an interior decorator. The relaxed atmosphere is enhanced by moody "swing sessions" played live from the ground floor area on Thursday nights and a rotating schedule of live acts performing on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The cuisine, too, is symptomatic of a casual middle ground. Everything on the all-day food menu sits below $15 – from the hearty, meaty Wagyu beef burger with hand-cut chips, tender salt and pepper calamari which comes flying out of the kitchen with chips, salad and aioli, to a whole range of generously-sized pizzas. Made on thin crust and presented on kitschy wooden plates, while they are mostly meaty there are two vegetarian options. The generous, relaxed meals are balanced by a sophisticated beverage and cocktail menu. Sitting along favourites like the mojito, innovative tipples like the "spunky" (Stolichnaya vodka, Chambord, peach schnapps and strawberry liqueur shaken with cranberry juice and muddled lime) and cocktail jugs like the "Long Island blues" or "lady smurf," is a section that pays homage to the classic martini. Casting aside fruity alternatives, the timeless original is available in five types of vodka and six types of gin, garnished either with a lemon rind or the infamous green olives on a toothpick.