The CBD's New Neon-Lit Late-Night Restaurant and Bar Zaffi Keeps the Party Rolling Until 4am

Sydney's late-night revival continues with this two-storey spot split between a ground-level Lebanese dining room and a party-ready basement bar.
Ben Hansen
April 21, 2023

A multi-level dining and party space has arrived on Little Hunter Street, adding to Sydney's current late-night revival. Joining the likes of The Abercrombie, Club 77 and the soon-to-open Pleasure Club on the list of new and revamped venues pushing Sydney's nightlife into the early hours of the morning, Zaffi is a versatile space boasting a 42-seat ground-floor restaurant and a 122-capacity basement bar that's committed to keeping the party rolling until 4am on weekends.

"The name 'Zaffi' means 'celebration' in Arabic, so we wanted to create a space where people not only come to celebrate but also where people know you're going to have a good time. For me, those spontaneous nights are the best kind of nights!" says Zaffi owner Chady Khouzame.

Khouzame has enlisted the help of ex-Chin Chin and Rockpool chef Graeme Hunt to create a refined Australian-Lebanese menu for the street-level dining room. It's a sharing affair at Zaffi, with plenty of mezze options including dips and veggies paired with mains like Aleppo pepper roast prawns and char-grilled spatchcock.

"We want our menu to be big on flavours and sharing, so the food isn't very complicated," Hunt says. "Some light raw dishes to begin with, moving onto your mezze options, then some larger mains that have been designed to share."

The two banquets menus are highly affordable, with the $60 option bringing a table-covering feast of saj, hummus, baba ganoush, eggplant fatteh, labneh, haloumi, kofta, cauliflower, spatchcock, pickles and chips — or, for an extra $29 per person, you can basically sample the entire array of eats on offer, with the addition of pan-fried snapper, slow-roasted lamb shoulder, panna cotta and cheesecake.

Downstairs in Zaffi's party bunker, you'll find pink velvet-cushioned booths, neon lighting, communal tables and upbeat tunes encouraging late-night revellers to stay well past midnight.

"We literally raised the roof to allow people to dance on tabletops," continues Khouzame.

The snacks also keep coming, with highlights from upstairs including kofta, dips, chips and grilled honey and za'atar haloumi all available on the after-hours menu.

Zaffi is open at 10–14 Little Hunter Street, Sydney, from 5pm–late Tuesday, 12pm–late Wednesday–Thursday, 12pm–4am Friday and 5pm–4am Saturday.

Published on April 21, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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