Babylon Is Sydney's New Sprawling Middle Eastern Bar and Restaurant Located on a CBD Rooftop

Take the lift to the top floor of Westfield Sydney and you'll find a luxe kingdom of meze, cocktails, slow-cooked meats and 300 wines.
Marissa Ciampi
June 26, 2019

It's official: the sprawling venues atop Westfield Sydney are finally opening. Kicking off the launches is Babylon, a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, bar and terrace with a cool 800 person capacity. Take the lift up to this massive 1200-square-metre space, where an impressive calibre of hospitality vets are waiting to wine and dine you.

Head Chef Arman Uz (Efendy) has created a menu that takes inspiration from his Turkish roots, as well as from the street eats of Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt. His extensive 30-dish bar menu features the likes of duck gozleme, ground lamb pide, harissa chicken wings and meze aplenty — including hummus with wattleseed dukkah, charred Turkish chillies with molasses and smoked eggplant salad with woodfired capsicum.

The restaurant alone seats over 200 and centres on a custom-built mangal (Turkish grill) and two rotisseries. Expect both eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences on the menu here, with share plates split between flora, fauna and ocean. There's 12-hour braised lamb neck served with Turkish dumplings and chilli butter, 72-hour sous-vide wagyu tri-tip with roasted eggplant purée and pan-fried snapper with tzatziki, pistachio and baharat rice. Enjoy it all with the house-made bread, which comes paired with za'atar spiced butter.

Steven Woodburn

Then there's the 330 capacity bar, lead by bar manager David Nutting (Restaurant Hubert, Eau de Vie). He's offering six Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails, including the Beykoz (vodka and sweet vermouth mixed with house-made watermelon soda, hibiscus and rose hip) and the Smoke & Baklava (mezcal with baklava caramel syrup). Plus, two batched cocktails: the Baharat Fashion — dark rum washed with Baharat butter, banana liqueur and chocolate bitters — and the Martini Alla Turk, a dry gin martini with rosemary vermouth and roasted cumin seed.

This is all joined by a 250-strong whisky list, 400 spirits and 300 different wines, the latter thanks to sommelier Simon Howland (Nomad, Catalina).

Steven Woodburn

The fit-out is the work of Queensland architects Hogg & Lamb and Woy Woy interior stylists Stewart + Highfield. As the venue's name suggestions, it takes inspiration from the metropolis of old, with the rooftop terrace modelled on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It's many opulent features include Italian travertine archways, velvet upholstery, spotted gum timber and marble finishes throughout — used in the dark gold bar, verde fusion tabletops and black stone terrace floor.

Babylon is the second Sydney venue for Mantle Group Hospitality, which also opened James Squires' high profile microbrewery, The Squire's Landing, in Circular Quay last year. And it'll be  joined on the Westfield rooftop by the group's third venue Duck & Rice this week. We'll share the full details on that one with you shortly.

Babylon is now open at Level 7, Westfield Pitt Street, Sydney from 10am–midnight daily. 

Published on June 26, 2019 by Marissa Ciampi
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