The atmosphere of a writer's den, insanely long opening hours, fun and flavorsome food, a drinks menu that will keep even the most inspired drinker guessing, and not even the slightest degree of pretension.
The atmosphere of a writer's den, insanely long opening hours, fun and flavorsome food, a drinks menu that will keep even the most inspired drinker guessing, and not even the slightest degree of pretension. In short, Hemingway's must be one of the best spots in town right now.
And it's perhaps not where you would expect it to be. A far cry from the back lanes of Darlinghurst or even the fame of King Street, this bar is firmly situated on Manly's main strip, right across from the beach. Despite this, it's about as dissimilar from a tourist trap as you can imagine.
For a start, the prices. The house cocktails are $15 and the suggested mixers, almost good enough to be cocktails themselves, are a mere $10. Hemingway's Cup is the ten to one favourite cocktail, spotted in the hands of almost every lady in the place. It's gentle mix of Hendrick's gin, rose and apple tea, sugar, and spice, served in a tea cup and saucer with slices of cucumber alongside. While it's very good, my pick would be the Miffy: house-infused vanilla rum, Falernum, orange, lemon and egg white whisked into a cloud-like dream. On a summer's day, the Creaming Soda might be more your style, with vodka, crème de cassis, home-made lemonade, wild berry foam and a paper cocktail umbrella. As far as mixer ideas go, Aperol and Fanta isn't a bad choice, and neither is Rum, Spicy Bitters and Ginger Beer. Both pack a flavoursome punch.
The food, too, picks up on this childhood-made-tastier theme. From the bar menu, the Corn ($6) with lime butter, black salt and finely grated Manchego is reminiscent of one of the Norfolk's best menu items. Of the sliders , we're told that the Beef ($14 for two, $26 for four) is the best pick and it definitely lives up to the hype. With cheese, bacon, barbeque sauce, mayo and pickles, it's the burger you wish fast food joints served. The Chilli Dog ($8), with a smoked frankfurt, chilli con carne, mustard, jalapenos and cheese, rounds the meal off nicely. For two, that is. While dessert might sound like a stretch, these offerings demand to be taken up. We tried a new one, titled simply Milo ($10). It turned out to be a rich chocolate marquise with vanilla ice cream to the side, balanced on a soil of Milo and Coco Pops, alongside a smear of salted caramel, and topped with milk foam. In other words, a stoner's dream.
It's worth mentioning that these are only two of the many menus on offer. Hemingway's serves breakfast and lunch and, between Monday and Saturday, offers a full, fancy dinner upstairs. In a place this good, I suspect that I'll be an expert on all of those menus within the month.
Want to live near this spot?
Check out our handy Neighbourhood Guides to find out how you can.
Arts & Entertainment
Friday, June 11 - Saturday, July 10
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House