Named after the title character’s obsession in Citizen Kane, Rosebud looks like a large restaurant from the outside but in some ways acts more like a tapas bar. All the meals (which the menu describes as contemporary Australian with Moorish influences) are designed to be shared, there’s a large wine list and a cocktail menu with interesting concoctions.
The first time I come here it’s with a small group of people and three things stood out:
1) The saffron icecream that could have come from an episode of Iron Chef in terms of highlighting its signature ingredient (it was gorgeous)
2) The plates made from a local potter that look like they came from The Flintstones
3) The Ataahua Hybrid cocktail
The Ataahua Hybrid is made from kiwi vodka, lychee liqueur, Cointreau, apple and kiwifruit and is a fruity cocktail where the kiwifruit flavour is dominant. In other words, it tastes more tiki than girlie (at least, that’s what I tell myself to assuage my masculine view of myself) and I find myself liking it.
I come back the following week with the Amazonian Croatian, who immediately orders the Espresso Martini, which is made from vodka, white cacao, Tuaca (a white vanilla liqueur from Italy) and espresso. Yet again, this doesn’t sound appealing to me – I’ve never understood the craze to put caffeine in alcohol – but it floats the Croatian’s boat big time and I have to grudgingly admit it does work well, largely due to the Tuaca and the quality of the coffee (the bartender tells us Rosebud uses its own blend of coffee beans).
We also order the signature cocktail, The Rosebud, made from vodka, pomegranate liqueur, Cointreau, cranberry and rose water, with a rose petal floating on top (when you finish the cocktail, it is nice to see the petal still lying in the glass).
This is less sweet than it sounds and the Croatian loves it, saying that in the realm of girlie drinks this is definitely a winner. I grumble about how cocktails should be manly and taste like liquor but she tells me to be quiet and I know better than to argue.
Then again, the sweet nature of the drinks here could also be due to Rosebud’s Moorish influence – another bar/restaurant with middle eastern flavours, Almond Bar, also has cocktails that are primarily sweet.
Food wise, the Croatian and I both agree that our goats cheese-filled zucchini flowers with tomato and cardamom chutney are beautiful (I strongly recommend this), while the parmesan-crusted quail is great.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Rosebud’s wine list, which has one of my favourite drops, the Cargo Road Zinfandel, on it. Most of the wines are Australian (although there’s a $95 bottle of Domaine Duroche Le Jeunes Rois from Burgundy) and start from $41 a bottle, although some are available by the glass from $8.50 (the cocktails, incidentally, all cost $15 each).
Rosebud, 654 Darling Street, Rozelle (corner of National Street, opposite the church where they have the markets on the weekend). Phone 9555 8999 or see the Rosebud website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Rosebud?