Bar, Restaurant, Sydney

Barrio Chino

Off the back of his Outstanding achievement award at the 2010 Australian Bar Awards, an appearance alongside Martha Stewart and the success at The Dutch in NYC, Startender Naren Young is back in Sydney for ten days only.

Bedding down the beverage program at Barrio Chino, and tapping Tecates for a few friends, he has shrugged off the time difference and looks 100% at home.

Barrio Chino is a new Mexican paradise, tucked down Bayswater Rd.

The food was getting great raps from everyone who’s eaten there. The type of fresh Mexican flavours that are such a rarity here. Naren has spent these last many years involved in the setting up of what the Amercians like to call beverage programs. Essentially, what gets delivered is a restaurant and bar that exist side by side. The bar is good enough it could thrive on its own, so is the restaurant. Paired together, they are a potent force.

I will be back to try the food directly, but the bar is great on its own. A real showcase of agave and its many facets.

There are masterful touches everywhere.

On the back bar there are some rarites, curiousities and even a couple of legends.

The list offers a handful of choices. Jar shaken pitchers of Tommy’s, balance perfect, perhaps the shareable first round available in the country.

The breakfast margarita picks up all the sweet zesty goodness that marmalade has to offer, but with the addition of an earthy agave heart that will leave you wondering why you’ve made this drink when any other spirit. The options offer a range of texture and formats. Long, short, touched with seductive smoky hint of mezcal. All singing, all dancing, all agave.

I would challenge any person who doesn’t like tequila to not find a drink that becomes their favourite.

The bar also signature serves Tecate, complete with gingery salt encrusted limes. Squeeze the juice into your can and knock it back.

Get into it.

Barrio Chino

28-30 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross

ph. 8021 9750

On Google maps here.

Bar, Sydney

To all good things, an end must come.

The death knell has sounded. Sydney is losing an institution.

The Bayswater Brasserie is to close. While the move might not come as a surprise to everyone, the staff were left scratching their heads after receiving their marching orders and four weeks notice.

There is talk of renovation, renewal and a fresh start. I hope they keep their position as something very special in a strip that blurs comfortably into drunken sameness, but I also hope they take the chance on something new. I couldn’t stand to sit there in a place filled with echos  (and sand) of parties gone by, pining for something that has escaped, gone.

I’ve written many times about my love for the venue, its personality, charm and intoxicating nature. I will be very sad to see it go.

You can find out more (although not much more) over here.

Bar, Restaurant, Sydney

Hugo’s Bar Pizza

Mojito - Photo by Foraggio Photo

Let’s face it, Bayswater road can be a bit hit and miss. Venues like the Bayz nestle beside crowds of extremely drunk tweens, calling anyone over the age of 23 ‘old mate’.

Walking through this can be a pain in the ass. Sitting on a comfortable seat, sipping a perfect mojito while tucking into and asparagus pizza on a gluten free base while watching aforementioned tweens making asses of themselves, however, can be an extremely fun experience.

Booking is advisable, but you can generally turn up before 7 and still get a seat outside. The seats on Bayswater Rd, right at the front are my pick for the view, but you’ll get attentive service wherever you sit.

On the Cocktail List, I really enjoyed the Spaghetti Western, a Havana Club negroni clone featuring aperol. The Peach Sidecar was also mighty fine, and as the photo on this post suggests, they do a good mojito.

The Pizza’s were perfected by Pete Evans, before he moved to Melbourne to concentrate on his new venue, The Pantry. He’s still the consulting chef, and his fresh stamp is still very much in evidence. Gluten free bases are available on all pizza’s for any of you that have friends in advertising who’re convinced they’ve got celiac disease.

A great place to meet a small group of friends for a bite and some good drinks.

33 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross.  (02) 9332 1227

On Google Maps here.

Bar, Cocktail, Sydney

The Bayswater Brasserie

The Bayz

32 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross 2011

+61 2 9357 2177

Google Map.

If I’m honest this is probably my favorite bar in Sydney at the moment. You can sit at the bar and have a yarn to the bartender. Show an interest in the liquor and they’ll share it back. I should also disclose that Nigel Lacy is a mate I hold in high esteem.

The Bayz has had a cocktail list of note for quite a few years, I love it because the Corpse Reviver No.2 that i wrote about previously is featured on the list, plus the Clover Club. 

Nestled in amongst some of the trashiest pubs in the cross, the walk into the place regularly has all the comedy and drama you could possibly expect, with pilled out teens lying wasted across the sidewalk and road. The Bayz itself offers an oft glammed up crowd stamping regularly up and down the stairs between the bar and garden and the bathrooms. 

The bar is intimate, the restaurant exceptional and the back garden a smoker’s paradise in heavily regulated Sydney.

The bar is incredibly well stocked, with perhaps the best selection of Bourbons, Gins and Rums I’ve found so far.

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