The name Grain describes the product and the setting alike. The bar is decked out with an abundance of timber, a gas fireplace and cosy amber lighting.
Settle into the matching Swedish neo-retro furniture and you can peruse a whisky list with more than 240 entries sourced from Scotland, Japan and Australia.
Monday nights are dedicated whisky nights. Tasting flights afford the curious a chance to compare four whiskies of their choice, with only a few restrictions on inclusions. For $30, it comes with the detailed knowledge and advice of the bar team – from differences between peaty and smoky notes, to the nuances of the Japanese still process.
Like whisky itself, the all-day menu tends towards bold flavours. This is seen in smaller snacks such as oysters with champagne vinaigrette; squid with Sriracha sauce; IPA cheese fondue with chorizo and tortilla chips. So too for the larger dishes, including a burger, and an ale-braised Wagyu brisket sandwich. For dessert? Deep-fried vanilla ice-cream with salted-caramel butterscotch.
For non-whisky drinkers, there are plenty of other options. There’s an Australian-leaning wine list (including organic and biodynamic options with some internationals in the mix), beer and signature cocktails.
The total experience is enhanced by the magnificent view over Circular Quay, through floor-to-ceiling windows. It's ruined only slightly by the intervening Cahill Freeway.