My date’s late, so I’m nursing an Old Fashioned ($20). It’s not on their short list of cocktails, but they do offer to make any classics you have a hankering for; so I forgive the bartender for it being sweet and gritty with undissolved sugar.
Ordering off-list isn’t my usual practice, but I’m combating pre-theatre anxiety. It’s certainly the place to do it, in a theatre bar surrounded by urbane theatre types, at the end of a very long wharf of timeworn floorboards.
Yet it strikes me as incongruous be tucking into Dip Boards ($22/2 people) and Meatballs ($14) in tomato marjoram sauce, in front of a world-class view.
More balls arrive – this time Nomad’s Spicy Chorizo and Pea Arancini ($12) – punctuated by drinks...
...a nicely tart Tommy’s Margarita ($18) and Sippin’ By The Sea ($18), which summons pina coladas using rum, coconut syrup and pineapple juice, updated by apple juice and Angostura bitters.
It’s an easy-drinking companion to lightly battered Calamari ($16) with smoked paprika aioli.
Okay, there’s something to be said for pre-theatre food being egalitarian and accessible, down to florets of Cauliflower ($9) with paprika and tahini, for under ten bucks.
A messy tangle of Meringue, Quince, Apple, Cream and Candied Chestnut ($12) hints post-show debriefs might be better accompanied in liquid form.
Bar at the End of the Wharf
Pier 4, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Ph: (02) 9250 1761