Kent Street Is Now Home to a Vietnamese-Inspired 'Microbar' Disguised as a Banh Mi Street Cart

The sexy 32-seater is serving up one-of-a-kind cocktails under lantern light, hidden among the laneways of Ken Street.
Suz Tucker
Published on January 08, 2024

Welcome to Vinabar, an intimate new bar tucked away in the laneways of Kent Street in Sydney's CBD. Seating just 32 imbibers, the small-format drinking establishment has taken inspiration from the nightlife and bar culture of Vietnam.

Co-owners Reymark Tesalona and Ashwin Arumugam conceived the micro bar as a tribute to their shared experiences travelling together throughout Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Both owners are of Southeast Asian background — and the influence comes through at every element, from the bespoke interior to the cocktail ingredients.

The bar is hidden behind a facade designed to resemble a banh mi street cart. Make your way through the steel door and you'll find a cluster of luminous silk lanterns (imported especially from Hoi An) descending from the ceiling, sleek black marble table tops, and bar shelving made from a replica design of the Golden Hand Bridge from central Vietnam coastal city Da Nang.

Vinabar owners Reymark Tesalona and Ashwin Arumugam smiling as they perch out the front of their newly-opened bar.

Vinabar owners Reymark Tesalona and Ashwin Arumugam

Clever interior detail aside, at Vinabar the cocktail list is the real star.

The signature 'Vinagroni' is the bar's unique take on the classic negroni, topped with a dehydrated starfruit as the garnish so the drink resembles the Vietnamese flag. Another stand out is a cocktail featuring cognac, pineapple, coconut and a mint and pandan foam created with a whipped cream charger, aptly titled 'Da Nang'.

As you might have gathered, the entire concept is very much rooted in storytelling.

Tesalona explains, "Being able to cater to such a diverse audience in a confined space allows us to translate our lived experiences into something tangible and memorable. Our cocktails transcend all barriers, be it cultural, age, ethnicity, gender – giving us a medium to tell a story by using all our human senses, not just taste."

Oh and Vinabar is open seven days a week until 2am so add it to your list of bars for late night capers.

Vinabar is now open at Shop 1, 332 Kent Street, Sydney. Visit the venue's website to stay up to date.

Published on January 08, 2024 by Suz Tucker
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x