Now Open: Brooksy Is the Extravagant Speakeasy That's Bringing 1920s Decadence to 21st-Century Sydney

From absinthe fountains and roving whisky carts to palm-reading fortune tellers and tableside oyster shucking, too much is never enough at this CBD bar.
Maxim Boon
Published on June 04, 2024

Sydney has no shortage of speakeasies. Some of the city's best bars are hidden in basements, down unmarked laneways or behind decoy shopfronts. What sets the secret 1920s-inspired hotel bar Brooksy apart is the opulence that it lavishes upon those lucky enough to find it — this is a speakeasy so glamorous, it could make a Gatsby blush.

Parquet floors, marble countertops and deep-pile velvet upholstery. Chevrons, curves and polished wood finishes. A palette of corals, umbers, moss greens and midnight blues. Add them all together and Brooksy's luxurious decor is a full-throated love song to the art deco and bauhaus movements, down to the last draped curtain and brushed-brass light fixture. Hidden on the ground floor of the Amora Hotel on Jamison Street in the CBD, it's a space that summons the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, with just a little 21st-century license.

And the decadence doesn't stop with the fitout. The cocktail list, designed by award-winning bartender Brendon Hill, is an ode to the golden age of travel — a time when globetrotting socialites crossed continents in search of adventures. Each concoction marks a stop on a grand global itinerary, taking in Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and even the Caribbean. For example, the Uluru (a blend of green grapes, lemon, Campari, gin and white vermouth) seeks to evoke the wonder of exploring the outback, while the Amalfi Coast-inspired Saluti hopes to whisk you away on an Mediterranean retreat via a mingle of house-made citruscello, peach granita and prosecco.

Sticking with the theme of 1920s excess, you'll also find absinthe fountains, a roving premium whisky cart and oysters shucked tableside on the menu. The theatrical flourishes continue with the bar's entertainment offering, with live music performances and palm readings by fortune tellers on the billing.

If all that excitement has helped you work up an appetite, executive chef Hemant Dadlani's menu of bar snacks is at the ready. It also takes its cues from Hill's international concept, with yuzu scallops with zippy hits of ikura and wasabi, Glacier 51 toothfish served shiro miso and cucumber salsa, and fiery Jamaican jerk chicken sliders among the dishes on offer.

A thirst for discovery underpins any speakeasy experience, but Brooksy is upping the ante with the cryptic promise of "hidden offerings and giveaways throughout the bar for those looking closely for clues." And yet, for all its OTT extravagance and luxury trappings, this 70-seat venue is compact enough to still feel intimate and cosy.

Find Brooksy at 19 Jamison Street, Sydney, open 5pm–late Tuesday–Saturday — head to the venue's website for more details.

Images: Chad Konik.

Published on June 04, 2024 by Maxim Boon
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