Emmilou was a mystery discovery. I thoroughly enjoyed a tapas and sangria meal through a weird (but wonderful) sequence of events on a special activity last night - as at the time of writing this. I was hanging out with a group of 17 people, of which we quickly became friends. We were all involved in a fun event where we had to solve a murder mystery in Surry Hills, and our reward was some quality tapas and drinks at a mystery restaurant. That's right, my Saturday night sojourn (and hangover) happened at Emmilou's on Bourke Street.
Unconventionally, our group was escorted inside as soon as we caught the murderer of Thomas Ivory in this fun, mystery case in Denham Lane. The latter lane way was where we were treated to a glass of bubbles. On this, I am not fully sure whether the champagne treat came from this bar. It could have been, and my gut instincts say yes. I think so, as the waiter was recognisable later. That blue shirt.
It was weird (yet unique) entering a restaurant via their tiny kitchen, of which was dimly lit. This was so surreal. We were then escorted to a private function room at the back, with the swanky bar in the middle, with the traditional restaurant feel towards Bourke Street.
At first it felt a little squishy, as the other side of this room was reserved for another private function, yet we were all good sports in the art of compromise.
We were welcomed with a platter of cheese and tomato bruschetta treats on the crunchiest bread in Sydney, and just like that we were all in a trance like state. It was easy to feel a little tipsy with the dimly lit ambience, in tandem with a kosher, laid back mood. All of the tapas treats were served on a wooden chopping board lookalike.
I quickly settled in with some water, and the artworks were amazing. Books on Mary Poppins were also discovered. Weird and wacky, as well as some loud voice that was reminiscent of what our group experienced earlier on in the evening. One of the staff thought I needed their attention, yet I wasn't sure where I was for a jiffy, but all was well.
Now the food came lashing out, and we all had to make space (be resourceful) on our tiny tables to fit it all in. Some antipasto delights were enjoyed. Something small and carrot like (that tasted like a raw, olive oil drizzled carrot) appeared, together with some delicious prosciutto. The latter went beautifully with a bit of bread again. I also loved the spicy chorizo sausages. They went perfectly with the glass of sangria provided. My stunner definitely came from the zucchini flowers with immaculately cooked zucchini pieces, with ricotta cheese and a light batter. Yum. I could not stop eating them. About 45 minutes later, we were all full with some food left over. With the limited space available, we certainly made a gastronomic mess.
We were all on a high from the activity that led us to this second mystery, of which turned out to be Emmilou Lounge & Tapas Bar in sensational Surry Hills. The darkness may not been our asset at times either. I spilt a bit of sangria on my jeans, as well as a little bit of ricotta cheese from the zucchini flowers. This all boils down to having too much fun.
A large group of our party of 17 went to karaoke afterwards, while some of us found our way enjoying a little bit of nightlife on nearby Oxford Street to then head back home. My sangria could have done with a little less ice, yet I loved this space for the short time while I was in it. Can't stop raving about those zucchini flowers. Must say, it is lovely to discover new food places in Sydney on a whim. I am surprised to learn that this establishment has been around since 2007.
Justine would like to thank Sydney Food Lovers and Emmilou for this special writer invitation.
Where: 413 Bourke Street Surry Hills NSW
Why: Awesome tapas and sangria in great company. The zucchini flowers and the spicy chorizo sausage pieces are worth raving about.
Cost: N/A - this was gifted to me.
When: Saturday night all the way.
Good for kids: No, definitely not.
Take away: No, the fun comes from eating in.