Step through the arched wooden doors of the Village and you’re quickly transported away from the flash-and-trash of Kings Cross and into a sophisticated bistro-pub-nightclub-bar. And yes that list seems long, but the Village is all these things – almost. Sandstone walls surround long wooden dining tables, a sprawling blackboard lists Italian-style share plates and pizza; and low-slung overhead light bulbs confusingly keep switching between light and dark. It has a slight European feel and is bigger than it appears from the outside, extending out to a cute courtyard with an open-air fairy-lit bar.
Even when the main bar isn’t busy, the staffers are not as attentive as they could be and a friendly smile or chat would have been welcomed rather than the frosty reception received. Unfortunately, cocktails aren’t the Villagers’ strongest suit, but their jugs, like the Passionfruit Caipirinha ($25) go down a treat. The citrus-sweet Smash is perfect to share, in keeping with the communal, village feel.
Cider fans will be pleased with reasonably priced Monteith’s on tap ($6) and Rekordelig in both pear and strawberry lime ($9). The bar also hosts different drink and food specials each night, which are worth checking out if you're watching your wallet. There are $5 sparkling Fridays, weekend ladies lunches and 2-for-1 cocktail Wednesdays.
After being tempted by the promise of pizza, there aren’t any available. But arancini ($14) are crunchy – those ubiquitous mozzarella-laden rice ball treats – almost make up for the MIA pie. The antipasto plate ($24) offers up a standard but delicious selection of prosciutto, grilled veggies and dips with crusty bread.
Upstairs begins to feel more like a club: dimly lit with a raised DJ booth, pumping out disco-house music to a small dance floor. It feels slightly incongruous, true, but it is pretty convenient if you want a post dinner/cocktail shake-down.
The Village has a lot of potential to be your one-stop shop – a singular place where you drink, dance, socialise and dine. Once they sort out their service they'll be on their way becoming a one-size-fits-most destination. Walk, don't run, to this one folks.