Modern Australian

Bar Fly: Newtown Social Club

The Newtown Social Club's fancy renovation has taken a lot of balls. Meatballs, to be precise. Once reminiscent of your generic sticky-floored pub, the Social has recently been transformed into a hip and inviting place.

Bloody Mary’s

Garnished with a slider, hot wing, and prawn, The Bloody Hell ($25) is without a doubt the most ridiculous cocktail I’ve ever seen. A chilli-infused Bloody Mary, it is but one of ten variations of the classic at the appropriately named Bloody Mary’s, made with in-house blended tomato juice, and with a spice wall for heat customisation.

Nomad

With the exposed wooden beams and ventilation ducts that snake throughout the ceiling of this beautifully ambient Surry Hills mess hall, I find myself wondering whether or not I’ve ended up on the set of the next Justin Timberlake music video, rather than in Sydney’s culinary institution, Nomad.

Food News – New Dining Options

Despite the colder weather inclining us to stay indoors, Sydney’s restaurateurs have been busy diversifying our dining options this winter. I recently popped into Walsh Bay’s Lotus Dumpling Bar for a steamer basket of prawn dumplings and scallop shumai, only to hear they’re kicking things up to the next level with Lotus Galeries opening this month in the heart of the CBD.

The Devonshire

Affable Restaurant Manager Craig McCall tells me to think of this spot as my “neighbourhood fine diner”. And, after I finish scraping the last skerrick of Devonshire Crème Brulee ($16) with scone ice cream and decadent cherry jam, out of the dainty teacup, I muse he’s exactly right.

Drake Eatery

It’s hard to say what I like about Drake Eatery the most. Just opened and already booked out, the light wood furnishings and grainy yellow floor scream beach, while dark wood highlights and floor-to-ceiling windows exude casual cool—it’s perfect for Bondi.

Civilian Bar & Kitchen

Polished concrete, dark wood, bare light bulbs, and heavy slab tables— Civilian has a ready decor for inner-city cool. Come on a Friday and the Passionfruit Sour ($17)—sweet, smoky with mescal, and topped with thick Italian meringue— is a bargain at ten bucks, and comes with complimentary (and tremendously compelling) truffled popcorn.

Fix St James

The gentleman at the next table is wooing his date with stories of ICAC. He gestures to another table explaining that they’re barristers, working on a three-week case.

Barrel Bar & Dining

Twenty-six year old Zac Stanning​ (ex-Public Dining Room) has been a head chef for six months. Teaming that with a triumvirate of owners - Stephen Thompson, Tony Binning and Alex Searle – “all sommeliers by profession”, and you have what could be a recipe for disaster.

Firedoor

“It's big, it's heavy, it's wood. It's log…" Ren & Stimpy aren’t the only ones obsessed with logs. Firedoor’s log is the first gnarly object to catch your eye, right after the fancy sliding door spits you unceremoniously into the Surry Hills warehouse, your arm awkwardly half-raised.