Champagne tastes on a beer budget needn’t preclude you from checking out the bar menus of Sydney’s big hitters. Here you can get a heaving board of Roast Bone Marrow ($8) for under ten bucks. While critic John Lethlean might scoff, I’m with the chefs who relish in smearing this rich, gelatinous goo onto crusty bread. Moving on from marrow, the Foie Gras and Fennel Tartine ($19) arrives balanced by cherry compote. Revelling in its earthy creaminess, my dining companion raises his 2012 Pierre de la Grange Muscadet ‘Vieilles Vignes’ ($13) and declares: “Eat healthy, die anyway.” He’s right of course; but bar food isn’t designed as an everyday eat. So I take on Clams with Garlic Aioli Gratin ($16/8) and an Oyster Beignet Roll ($8) with nary a second thought. Even appreciating the fat-dissolving properties of pink grapefruit, pineapple and saffron gin in Le French Boudier ($18) came to an abrupt halt when I tried his Coffee Martini ($21). It drinks like a salted caramel latte, so get two – they’re not conducive to sharing. Despite bemoaning Sydney’s current bun obsession, a Twice Cooked Pork Belly Brioche Roll ($10) was appreciated for its alcohol blotting properties. Alternatively Chef Paul McGrath’s interesting take on Charcuterie ($32/5 items) is a fine way to finish.
Ananas Bar & Brasserie
18 Argyle Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9259 5668 ananas.com.au
Modern French/Cocktails/Bar Food $$