Babylon Rooftop & Garden Bar
A luxe kingdom of meze, cocktails, slow-cooked meats and 300 wines atop Westfield Sydney.
Take the lift in Westfield Sydney up to level seven and you'll find this massive 1200-square-metre Middle Eastern restaurant and bar, where an impressive calibre of hospitality vets are waiting to wine and dine you.
Babylon has a cool 800 person capacity and at its helm is Head Chef Arman Uz (Efendy), who 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 ($18), ground lamb pide ($19), harissa chicken wings ($22) and meze aplenty — including hummus with wattleseed dukkah ($16), charred Turkish broccolini ($18) with molasses and smoked eggplant salad ($20) 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 ($36) served with Turkish dumplings and chilli butter, 72-hour sous-vide wagyu tri-tip ($59) with roasted eggplant purée and pan-fried snapper ($48) with tzatziki, pistachio and baharat rice. Enjoy it all with the house-made bread ($3 each), which comes paired with za'atar spiced butter.
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 (all $22), 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 (also $22): 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).
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 one of three Sydney venue from Mantle Group Hospitality, which also opened James Squires' high profile microbrewery, The Squire's Landing, in Circular Quay and fellow Westfield rooftop restaurant, Duck & Rice.
Images: Steven Woodburn