Bond with a date or with mates over top-shelf wines and Spanish-style share plates at this Surry Hills wine bar.
Ben Hansen
Published on November 18, 2022


Lennox Hastie is the mind behind one of Sydney's most talked about restaurants. Since bursting onto the scene in 2015, Firedoor has built a cult following. Tables at the venue book out three months in advance, and it was recently named the world's third-best steak restaurant. Now, Hastie is back with a new venture.

Gildas is a more laidback display of Hastie's love of food and wine. The Surry Hills bar draws inspiration from the time the acclaimed restauranter spent in Europe's Basque Country, as well as San Sebastian pintxo, and the 1946 Rita Hayworth-starring film Gilda. From the combination of these influences comes a romantic wine bar centered around glasses of sherry, cracking martinis and fresh produce.

"The Basque tradition of the pinxtos taverna is a space where locals come together as a community to snack on small plates of pinxtos, tell stories, and enjoy a drink, specifically one of Jerez's best; the Sherry," the Gildas menu states. There are 12 varieties of sherry or sherry-style wine on the menu, ranging from more affordable tipples like the Bodega Barrero Manzanilla, through to pours of 1999 Pedro Ximenez.

Outside of the drink of choice, there's an extensive wine list, traversing South Australian skin contacts, Charles Heidsieck champagne, and plenty of Spanish varieties. Accompanying the array of wine is a short and to-the-point selection of cocktails and aperitif including Spanish vermouth, a manzanilla sour, white-wine sangria, and expected standards like a martini and old fashioned.

As for the food, experienced chef Zach Elliott-Crenn heads up the kitchen after previously working as the Executive Chef at Maggie Joan's in Singapore and the Head Chef of Portland in London. Elliott-Crenn's menu brings together quality Australian and Spanish produce into memorable share plates.

Leading the menu is a trio of cured meats — Basque ham, paleta iberico and jamon iberico. From there the dishes become more unpredictable. There are spanner crab churros, beef tartare with rock oyster cream, oyster mushrooms with smoked egg yolk and charred leeks with romesco and lardo salumi. Finish your trip to Gildas with a playful dessert — the smoked buffalo milk soft serve topped with dulce de leche.

Gildas is located at 46–48 Albion Street, Surry Hills, and is open 5pm–midnight, Tuesday–Saturday.

Images: Nikki To


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