Grasshopper is pretty notorious for being impossible to find.
Grasshopper is pretty notorious for being impossible to find. It's the kind of place you wouldn't know about unless you knew about it. Hidden down Temperance Lane, which is not even locatable on Google Maps, and often blocked from sight by large trucks, you'll only know you've arrived once you see people milling around outside. We'll make it easy for you though: it's off George St (between numbers 389 and 391), Sydney CBD, between Market and King, right near the Apple church. The top level is a restaurant, and downstairs you'll find the bar.
Grasshopper is one of the very few small places that have opened up in the CBD itself, and the crowd is a little more after-office-hours tie-loosening than you might be comfortable with, but it gets a lot more relaxed on a Friday night. The furniture is all retro, picked up from auctions around town - the wall is papered with black and white kung-fu pictures and old records serve as coasters. There's also a broken '70s TV in the corner which serves no obvious purpose other than decoration. The bar is underground, with low ceilings, so it's pretty hot during the summer, meaning that drinkers often spill out into the alley, taking a seat on the milk crates scattered around.
Cocktails are the real drawcard at Grasshopper. All the drinks are numbered instead of having names, and they're just about all served in jars. The No.19, which features orange liqueur, cranberry juice, passionfruit and vanilla vodka, tastes like the sort of gelato you would find at Messina or Pompeii's. The No.14 - comprising blackberry juice and Fanta - is also a Buttermenthol-tasting highlight. The No.17, served in a koala-shaped jar, is also a firm favourite, and there's a selection of cigars if you're having a moment of Churchillian suavity. While the drinks might be clinging to novelty factor, Grasshopper is a relaxed and reasonably inexpensive addition to the city's drinking holes.
Published on February 25, 2011 by Madeleine Watts