With dim red lighting and within a small, cosy space, one word to describe the Different Drummer, a cocktail and tapas bar would be intimate. Saturday night was my second visit here, and I was still in awe of the great, upbeat atmosphere and eclectic style. I was looking forward to some wonderful food to match. Ravenously hungry, my boyfriend and I ordered our food at the bar before we had even nagged a table.
A great starter
First we ordered the Warm Turkish Bread that came with an assortment of dips: baba ganoush, black olive and sun-dried tomato ($11). It was the first dish to come out, and we dove right into it. The bread was cut into thick slices and was fresh, warm and soft. I enjoyed all three of the dips, but the sun-dried tomato one was definitely the favourite, a surprising fact as I usually hate sun-dried tomatoes. It was flavoursome, but not overpowering and had a slightly sweet taste to it. The baba ganoush dip was silky smooth. It wasn’t as creamy as I had expected which was good, and had a smoky flavour to it. The black olive was my least favourite dip of all, but that’s not to say that I didn’t like it. It was quite strong in flavour, a bit too powering, but was enjoyable nevertheless. The ratio of bread to dip was high so we had left over bread and was basically swiping the plate with it to try and get as much dip as possible. A bit more dip would suffice, but apart from that, it was a great starter to our meal.
From the back to the front: baba ganoush, sun-dried tomato and black olive dip.
My boyfriend's chicken came out next. It was Naughty Chicken in a spicy Southern style served with lemon aioli ($11). The chicken was moist and definitely not dry, however it wasn’t as spicy as he had expected or wanted. The lemon aioli was a nice touch, if a bit too creamy, resulting in a succulent dish.
The spicy southern chicken needed some extra spice
He also ordered the chargrilled lamb brochettes with a Morroccan marinade ($11). They came out in skewers with a mini side salad with lemon as a garnish. The lamb was a bit too salty, but the meat was still tender and warm. And was a pleasure to eat.
Lamb with a side salad
Our last dish was the James Serrano & Manchego cheese croquettes served with Dijon aioli ($11). It was a toss up between this and the pan-fried potatoes with garlic aioli, however the waiter taking out order recommended the former, so we decided to give it a try. Up until now, the food and service had been great. The waiters and bartenders had been friendly, and the food had come out in a timely fashion. However, for our last dish, from the time we sat down at the table, we had to wait 55 minutes. After a 30 minute wait with no sign of our food, I thought they had forgotten about it, which was understandable as it was quite busy, and asked one passing waiter about it. Interrupting me mid-talk, the reply I got was a mumbled, “yeah they’re coming” as he walked away without even looking at me once. I was quite astounded by his rude reply, seeing as though I was being polite and patient, and had always an excellent experience with the other staff.
After an additional 20 minutes, my dish did come out. After nearly an hour wait, I expected something that was quite appealing and elaborate that would explain the wait time, but those expectations fell short. The food was warm however, and fresh. The croquettes were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The mash potato was my favourite part as it was soft and delicious, and had pieces of cheese mixed in. The Dijon aioli was a bit too creamy and thick for my liking, however, it was a fine addition to the dish and just added that extra something.
Red lights illuminating the entire bar
Overall, I enjoyed the majority of my experience at the Different Drummer. The only downside was the rude treatment from the waiter when I asked about the last dish. I was quite dismayed and disappointed in this as having been here before, I know that this is a rare occurrence. However, while it did put a damper on my experience; the excellent food, décor and atmosphere outweighs it, and I would like to re-visit again sometime in the future.
Where: 185 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW
Why: The upbeat atmosphere and intimate setting, and great Spanish food.
Cost: Tapas - $11, Cocktails - $14-22,
When: Tue-Wed 4.30pm-late; Thu-Sat 4.30pm-2am; Sun 4.30pm-12 midnight