Since I Left You

This Sydney courtyard bar could be your fairy-light-lit paradise in the heart of the CBD.
Monique Lane
Published on February 25, 2016
Updated on May 02, 2024


Tucked between three heritage-listed buildings down a laneway in Sydney's CBD, you'll find this cosy courtyard bar slinging cocktails and sandos.

Let's get the obvious out of the way: yes, the bar is named after the song from The Avalanches. "I liked the opening lyrics," says owner Nick White. "Watch the steps, get a drink, have a good time, now, welcome to paradise."

The bar, located near Wynyard, recently acquired a lively urban courtyard decorated with a large mural and softened by some plants and twinkly lights. It's a great setting for the regular live music and after-work banter.

SILY's cocktail list is the creation of bar manager Sebastian Gonzales. It's a good-looking list, though a few drinks veer on the sweet side for my tastes. A standout drink features the super smooth Hakushu Japanese whisky rounding out a concoction of plum wine and ginger Cognac in the Simpsons-referenced cocktail A Single Plum, Floating in Perfume, Served in a Man's Hat. The Torch Carrier — a riff on a pisco sour — is pleasantly sharp, and a classic negroni is made with care and precision.

Crostini is a word that normally fills me with dread, but here it's DIY with toppings and golden toasts arriving separately. You assemble a mouthful to your own liking — in this case, with pickled octopus, 'nduja, piquillo peppers and aioli.

The toasties are seriously good, too, and the exact kind of thing you want at 11pm. There's a good range of local and international wines and a few beers and ciders. With outdoor seating and a CBD location, it's not surprising that SILY is packed with the post-work crowd and lots of third dates. Paradise is hard to find, but we certainly got a drink and had a really good time.

Since I Left You

Images: Bodhi Liggett


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