PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Tuesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
FOOD & DRINK

Banksii Is Barangaroo's Brand New Vermouth Bar

The wife-and-husband team behind Surry Hills' Bar H give a nod to Australia's first European botanist.
By Jasmine Crittenden
April 13, 2016
  shares

Banksii Is Barangaroo's Brand New Vermouth Bar

The wife-and-husband team behind Surry Hills' Bar H give a nod to Australia's first European botanist.
By Jasmine Crittenden
April 13, 2016
  shares

Sydney abounds in whiskey bars, gin joints and wine libraries. But, until now, vermouth – that ancient potion of mystical, medical qualities – hasn't received its own shrine. Enter Banksii, a brand new bar-bistro, run by Bar H's cracking team and soon to open along the sparkling, harbour-side Streets of Barangaroo.

On sommelier Rebecca Lines's drinks list, you'll find no fewer than 40 vermouth options. Drink 'em straight, drink 'em on ice, drink 'em while howling at the full moon and drink 'em in cocktails. In short, drink 'em anyway you like.

"Vermouth has an exceptionally long history and by the 17th Century was incredibly popular in Europe and England as an aperitif," says Lines. "There has been a recent rediscovery of vermouth and we'll be focusing on it being served straight as an aperitif and in a tight cocktail list, focusing on classics such as martinis and negronis." What's more, she's organising a bespoke drop by the name of Maidenii, which you'll find on Banskii's taps, but nowhere else.

Vermouth not your thing? Get into the 100-strong wine menu, emphasising both homegrown and Mediterranean wines.

Meanwhile, chef Hamish Ingham — ex-Bar H, Pier, Becasse, Flying Fish and Billy Kwong, and 2004 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year — has been busy coming up with contemporary dishes that combine Mediterranean influences with Australian botanicals. By the way, in case you're wondering, the name Banskii is not in homage to the homonym-nal street artist, but to Sir Joseph Banks, Australia's first European botanist.

Ingham will be serving up his creations morning, noon and night. For breakfast, you'll be getting stuck into rosemary sheep's milk yoghurt with fresh honeycomb and brioche, or grilled Cumberland sausage, fried egg, organic chickpeas and tomatoes cooked in vermouth. Lunch and dinner will be all about keeping things light and fresh, with star dishes including vegetable crudité with sesame yoghurt and mountain leaf oil; and roast spatchcock, botanicals, fried bread and agro dolce. And, for sweet tooths, there's banksia flower trifle with banksia syrup, sweet vermouth, rosella jelly and burnt vanilla custard. Yep. Banksia flower trifle.

"I can't wait to get into the kitchen at Banksii," said Ingram. "I'm really happy with how the menu is coming together. The Streets of Barangaroo is going to be one of the most exciting dining precincts in Sydney, with the likes of Belles [Hot Chicken] and Bentley as our neighbours, we're in extremely good company."

Luchetti Krelle is taking care of design matters, incorporating indoor-outdoor seating for 200 people and drawing from 18th century ideas (because that's when Sir Banks was around). If you've ever hung out at ACME, Momofuku Seiobo or The Butler, you've luxuriated Luchetti Krelle's excellence.

Banksii will open on The Streets of Barangaroo in September 2016.

Published on April 13, 2016 by Jasmine Crittenden

Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x