Bar, Sydney


Made it back to Sticky for the first time since I started this blog. Tucked down Taggart’s Lane in a dingy doorway beside the goods fridge for the restaurant is the entrance to Sticky.

The closest thing we have to a Melbourne hospitality experience with kind words and cheeky wit at the door, even if the popularity of the upstairs space means a short wait in the cold. Ascend the stairs, breathing in the smells from Table for 20, a sharing plate concepted, long table execution of a best of what’s on offer model.

Ascend another set and you’ll hit to the laid back attic, decked out with antiques and little padded stools. The bar has obviously been designed by a bartender. Plenty of space behind it, and it’s needed when the place fills up. The beer selection is limited, but nicely done, Birra Messina a real standout.

The back bar is adorned by many nectarous bottles. Aged Grappa and Sazerac Ryes are obviously firm favourites of the boys behind the wood. A couple of special cocktails are chalked up, a twenty something bottle winelist as well.

I stuck to the beers and more than a couple of Negroni’s with the gin changed out for a blanco tequila. Nicely turned out. The pricey but oh so luxurious highlight for me was a Sazerac, whipped up with Thomas Handy’s Sazerac Rye.

Worth the trip, especially if you haven’t yet visited Melbourne and seen what real hospitality looks like. Don’t worry too if you get stuck upstairs drinking, the tasting plates are, well, tasty.

182 Campbell St, Surry Hills, Sydney. 0416 096 916.

On Google Maps, here.

Bar, Melbourne

On Tour: 1806

World Cocktail Day has slipped down our collective throats once more, It would be easy to grow despondent at the thought of waiting another annual cycle to celebrate the birth and evolution of finely mixed drinks.

Luckily however, hope as they say, springs eternal. At least on Exhibition St that is, where Sebastian Raeburn has built a stage for the art of mixing drinks, a temple whose rites eek out the fullest balanced flavours and where an uplifted spirit will just as soon be drunk. Named for the year in which the word cocktail was defined in print, 1806 is a must visit destination for anyone who like a great drink.

Step inside the doorway and you’ll be escorted through to the first available seat in the two-leveled theater of drinks. The bar and it’s tenders are very much the feature of the venue, with a backbar rising so high into the stratosphere it must tickle the very nose of God. Appropriate then that the uppermost reaches hold the works of Carthusian Monks, in greater variety than me eyes have laid on before. I’m not so sure the festoon of empty bubbles will have the same effect.

We ordered the Southside and a Clover Club. Both came, well made and silky in their deliciousness. I would have liked to stay and sampled more, but Pumpkin time was upon us and the Hotel bed beckoned. I’ll be back, if only to try the custard.

169 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 3000‎ -(03) 9663 7722‎

On Google Maps, here.