During our trip to Sydney, Hotel Palisade invited us to check out its rooftop lounge, Henry Deane. The two-level cocktail bar opened alongside the newly renovated hotel in November 2015 and has been a crowd-pleaser since its doors opened. The historic Hotel Palisade received a 5 million dollar facelift to revive its beauty and update it with a modern touch, which quickly turned it into the place to be last Fall. Once we took a quick peek at the Palisade and its new digs on the hotel website, we were excited to see what the experience at Henry Deane would be.
We arrived around 4 pm on a Saturday, just as the crowd started to swell. A quick elevator ride brought us to the top of Hotel Palisade and to Henry Deane.
Henry Deane is a sexy, but not pretentious, cocktail lounge with gorgeous views of the city and a fantastic menu to match. You’ll definitely want to dress to impress, as the crowd is just as sleek and sophisticated at the ambiance. Immediately upon walking in, you’ll hear the sounds of a local DJ spinning classic jams. The soundtrack for our visit was a combo of 70s, 80s & 90s R&B and soulful house mixes, which immediately set the mood for a good time.
The setting is comfortable, consisting of Miami style white leather couches, flowing white curtains kissed by the breezes from the bay and an overall feel of relaxation and luxury.
Our advice would be to book a table in advance, or be prepared for a wait. As the evening begins to set in, the crowd does as well. Make sure you’re not left out!
As our table was being finalized, we hit the bar and ordered drinks to enjoy on the terrace to kick off our Henry Deane experience. Views of the Darling Harbour, Walsh Bay, and Barangaroo Reserve surrounded us as the bartender recommended and served us the following:
Greg's Grog - made with two kinds of rum, passionfruit, pineapple, lime, black pepper and bitters, and served in a tiki cup
Sangrita - a sangria/margarita hybrid with a sneaky, spicy jalapeño kick.
Bartender’s Potion - leave the ingredients up to the bartender and enjoy the final result!
We then relocated to our table and ordered a few items from the menu that all hit the mark. All of the selections on the menu are made for sharing, but the options were so good we ended up ordering our own plates! The scallops were perfectly cooked in a decadent vanilla miso butter. The spiced cauliflower topped with crunchy almonds and served with a smoky sauce were light, but packed a kick. The mussels, steamed with white wine, garlic and a hint of chili didn’t stand a chance once they landed at our table. To say they were delicious would be an understatement.
After a couple of Old Fashioneds (which were also fantastic, kudos to the bartender) and conversations with some of the locals, I settled on dessert: A White Boy’s Sago (their name choice, not mine). Sago is a starch derived from palm stems and is similar in taste and texture to tapioca. The starch is a staple in the cooking habits of the lowland communities in Indonesia & New Guinea. The sago came dressed with fresh watermelon, passionfruit, mango, and a macadamia nut crunch. I ordered the dessert in the spirit of trying something new and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
Our experience made it easy to see why the lounge is never empty. Henry Deane is the perfect spot for late Saturday afternoons or an early start on a night on the town! Let the DJ’s grooves and the bar’s tasty concoctions chill you out as the sun starts to set over Darling Harbour and the city lights begin to spark. If you happen to have too much fun at Henry Deane, you can always book one of the Hotel Palisade’s impeccably designed rooms!
Trust us, Henry Deane is worthy of a spot on your schedule during a stay in Sydney.
For more information on Henry Deane, visit their website: http://hotelpalisade.com/henry-deane