The post-work white-collar crowd is quaffing pints and cocktails amid wine barrels and wooden tables. The gathering is generic, but the beverages are not. Customs House Bar’s point of difference is the 23 beers on tap, 17 of which are craft—some of which are only available here and at The Local. If all that choice is too much, just ask the staff to sort out a sampler set, with each taster costing two bucks Make sure they include the Founders Porter, an intensely bitter chocolate and coffee flavoured draft. When it comes to food, things come on wooden boards, scattered with herbs and edible flowers; so much so that the pickles with the Tajima Wagyu Burger ($20) are almost too pretty to eat. The menu is split into four sections with various themes from pub grub to local market, but it’s all gastro-pub-good. The wine-rich and unctuous Braised Galangal Beef Short Ribs ($21) are a standout; and the Roasted Young Chicken ($19) comes skewered, charcoal crispy and summer fresh. Tempura Prawns ($24) are about as luxurious a drink-snack as you can imagine, and the Parmesan Fries ($9) with truffle mayo are compulsory. As far as CBD pubs go, this one is hard to beat.
Customs House Bar
17 Macquarie Place, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9259 7792 facebook.com/CustomsHouseBar
Pub Bistro $$-$$$