Honestly, what GFC? Regardless of how many chefs and restaurateurs complain about business being erratic of late, it would seem that it doesn't stop more new restaurants and bars from opening in Sydney. Enter three new cabs off the rank.
If the chef behind the bar looks familiar, it's because you've seen him before...behind another bar. Bodega to be exact. While Kenji-san can crank out a mean dessert, it's his native roots that have spurred him onto opening his own joint. As the name implies, it's Izakaya-style dining, which essentially means food that's meant to be eaten with booze. And there's plenty of it. With a cracking wine and sake list put together by much loved Sydney sommelier Charles Leong, and cocktails by Charles (Chino) Ainsbury, last seen at Duke, this new little Surry Hills joint is sure to bring the boozehounds out. There's KFC on the menu (Kenji's Fried Chicken), a take on karage, plus some supremely sliced sashimi to boot (and we're not just talking salmon, tuna and kingfish). Oishii desu ne!
54-56 Waterloo St
Surry Hills, 2010
(02) 9698 2797
Rock'n'roll! Small bars these days are easier to come by than tight jeans in Surry Hills, but it's what we wanted, right? We love them because they're personal, unique and so goddamn tiny that they feel like an extention of your living room. Enter Darlie Laundromatic. Yes, it's an old laundromat. No, you can't do your washing while you booze (though that's a good idea). It's not schmancy, but it is cheap. $5 tinnies of Tsingtao, $6 cleanskin wines and a neat 'lil menu of gourmet sambos and mini hot dogs to boot. And there's rock'n'roll bingo on Tuesday nights. Gotta love that.
304 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, NSW
(02) 8095 0129
CBD dwellers, take heart. Merivale hasn't abandoned you just yet. Yes, they're buying up pubs in Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, but if you're after a post-work drink in the financial district, all you need to do is set your compass due east (or whatever), and speed up to 30 Knots. Sailor fanciers take note, this is your kinda bar. With nautical decoration a-go-go, you'll feel right at home on your sea legs, with plenty of interesting stuff to keep you going while you sip your cleansing ale (there are around 30 to choose from). And yes, there are fish and chips. It's not quite an old-school pub, with just a tiny bit of Merivale polish evident, but it's a nice respite from some of the big, rowdy bars nearby.
The Grand Hotel
30 Hunter St, Sydney
(92) 9232 3755