Bar Lou Lou Surry Hills

Meet Bar Lou Lou, the latest small bar to open in Surry Hills.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills 

Located inside Emmilou Tapas Bar, the newest addition to the Sydney bar scene has a kind of underground feel with deep red curtains and a red wall framing the intimate space. Dark wood tones, comfortable banquettes against the walls and thick flickering candles on tables add an inviting and romantic touch.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Section of the Mural

The bar feels like a natural progression from Emmilou’s graffiti walls. A large mural by artist Lee Harnden dominates the space and gives a sense of depth with a street scene from Spain’s San Sebastian. But it is the woman who captures your gaze – beautiful, seductive, with a sexy sneer and a set of lips that spell mischief.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Mural by Lee Harnden

She is Emmilou, and she embodies the spirit of the venue with her Spanish roots, good looks and fiery nature. The space is the creative design of Sydney-based interior designer, Nerys Cooper who took inspiration from Chris Cranswick-Smith’ culinary journey and travels through the Spanish region.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Asymmetrical Lampshades

Another wall featuring asymmetrical lampshades with exposed tubing and bricks adds a rustic look – a scene that seems at odds with the painted mural but represents a mish mash of creative ideas that come together in harmony.

Bar Lou Lou has a cocktail focus, serving up a list of classics with Emmilou creations as well as a bar bites menu.

Bar Lou Lou
Bartender Alex Carter with Paloma Cocktails

Bartender Alex Carter, whose experience has taken him from Cartel Bar in Auckland to The Corner House in Bondi and later The Sailors Club has created a new cocktail list that makes it easy to choose. The list is divided into The Revolution, with a light, fresh and approachable style of drink and The Inquisition which appeals to more the serious booze hounds.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
L-R: Loulita, The Goblin

Loulita ($16) is a fun and feminine drink that is a little on the sweet side. The vodka-based cocktail is made with Aperol, St Germain Elderflower, lemon Juice, Peychauds Bitters and a dash egg white. Served in a Tiki mug, the Goblin ($18) is a refreshing and well-balanced mix of Aviation Gin, Fino Sherry, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, apple juice and simple syrup – light, refreshing and easy to drink at the start of the evening.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Rum O.F.

From The Inquisition list, the Rum O.F. ($20) is strong and boozy, a wickedly delicious combination of Pyrat XO Rum with Valdespino Pedro Ximenez and Bokers Bitters that satisfies the more seasoned cocktail drinker.

There’s a modest list of beer and ciders including local craft beers, a choice of sherries ranging from dry to sweet and an approachable list of wines and champagnes.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Oysters with palm sugar and lime

Bar Lou Lou offers a bar nibbles menu with some specials such as freshly-shucked Pambula Sydney Rock Oysters with palm sugar and lime ($3 each).

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Paella Balls with Chorizo

There are Emmilou classics such as zucchini flowers with goats cheese and truffle honey ($11) and irresistible paella balls with chorizo, saffron and aioli (4 for $12).

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Clockwise from top left: Prawns, Pulled Pork, Fried Chicken, Chorizo

Sink your teeth into soft buns with euro-style hamburgers ($8) or hamburguesas. Fillings include Prawns, Chipotle Mayo, Cucumber and Coriander; Pulled Pork, Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw;

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills

and the moreish and spicy, Chorizo with Spanish Pickles, Manchego and Aioli.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Crab Croquettes

Dishes from Emmilou’s menu can also be ordered and enjoyed at the bar such as the Crab Croquettes served with grain mustard vinaigrette and aioli ($22).

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Chicken Liver Parfait

The silky smooth Chicken Liver Parfait ($15), served with prune and tea chutney and candied walnuts makes a great accompaniment to a glass of vino,

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Harvey Bay Scallops

as do the Harvey Bay Scallops ($4 each) cooked in their half shell and topped with a herb crumb and lemon vinaigrette.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Spatchcock with pumpkin puree and ham crumbs

For something a little more filling, the Chargrilled Spatchcock ($22) has a lovely smokiness and it comes with a sweet pumpkin puree and tasty ham crumbs which give it another textural element.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Chocolate Financier

For dessert, the Chocolate Financier with pistachio, cocoa soil, milk tea gel, dulce de leche ice cream and honeycomb ($15) is sensational, melting in the mouth with delicate and complementary flavours.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
Eton Mess

For something irresistible that you can share with a special someone in a cosy corner of the new bar, you can’t beat the Eton Mess with mixed berries and Pedro Ximenez reduction ($12). This is the most decadent one of its type to have passed these lips.

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
New Seating

Bar Lou Lou, Surry Hills
L-R: Chris Cranswick-Smith, Alex Carter, Jodee Fensom, Jamie Chaplin Kha, Thaylia Burton; Top row: Ryan Christopherson, Karl Burton

Bar Lou Lou is the kind of cocktail bar that makes a lasting first impression. The intimate lounge is welcoming and inviting whether you’re there with a small group or two people on a first date or date night. The cocktails are well crafted and cater for a cross-section of tastes with a good selection of spirits. The vibe is dependent on the crowd and can range from buzzy, as it was on a busy Friday night, to a more relaxed and romantic mood later in the evening.

With a new direction, a more casual approach and an accessible and well-priced food and wine menu, will captivate you. Much like the seductive señorita on the wall.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Bar Lou Lou
413 Bourke Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: 9360 6991

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.