While the somewhat lurid colours of this year’s Vivid painted this town, I slipped twenty feet underground to investigate this sunken cellar. By cleverly rolling everything you want from a small bar – food, wine and cocktails – in with a nightclub vibe – DJs and dancing – they’ve created the perfect way to avoid the Sydney lockout blues. Fuel your mini-club adventure with a better than average bar food selection, that might see you start with witlof boats of Tuna Crudo ($15/3 pieces) dusted with fresh horseradish, or a duo of freshly shucked Oysters ($8) with Champagne mignonette. Vegetarian dishes are well represented on the short menu, from baked feta-stuffed Filo Cigars ($9/4 piece) to fat golden slabs of Grilled Haloumi ($12/4 piece) with shaved cucumber, lemon and dill. The standout is a Warm Cauliflower Salad ($8) with chickpeas, parsley, tahini and black sesame seeds. The light and surprisingly healthy dishes suit wines including the Spanish 2012 Colours Chardonnay ($9/glass), however if you ask me, cocktails are where this bar shines, starting with a cleverly designed absinthe float on the gin and pink grapefruit-based Good Voodoo ($18). Later in the evening, Keep On Keeping On ($18), with an energy boosting glass of banana-infused Tennessee whisky stirred over ice with bitters and smoked maple syrup.
The Spice Cellar
Basement, 58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9223 5585 thespicecellar.com.au
Cocktails, Bar Food $-$$