When Bulletin Place cocktail bar opened in a laneway off the Circular Quay end of Pitt Street in 2012, its influence was felt all over Sydney. The second venue from the group of all-star bartenders has been long anticipated, and it’s finally opening this week in the old Emmilou Tapas Bar site on Bourke Street.
Managed by Dead Ringer's Tim Philips, Bulletin’s Rob Sloan and David Hobbs with Tristan Rosier from Farmhouse Kings Cross in the kitchen, Dead Ringer doesn’t quite display the likeness to the original Bulletin that the name implies. There’s a long wooden parquetry bar with stools up front, a street-facing terrace that’ll be the best place to drink in Surry Hills once the weather warms up, and a lovely space out back with booths and lampshade lighting for settling in for dinner.
If there is a likeness to Bulletin Place to be found, it’s on the cocktail menu. A focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients is front and centre, like the last of winter’s vibrant tangelos condensed into a spritz with a splash of quinine and sparkling wine. Vanilla pisco is shaken with ruby port and fizz until frothy and creamy for the Dixie Cup, the softly pink end product tasting just like Creaming Soda but thankfully not as sweet. Once you’ve worked your way down to the bottom of the menu, forego dessert for a Hot and Buttered Toddy with Messina gelato, scotch and muscat.
Ever tried deep-fried pasta dough? Do it here! It’s served crisp and crunchy and flavoured with fennel, with a side of parmesan-heavy mayonnaise (also known as bar-snack crack). The rest of the menu is wholesome, with big piles of fresh vegetables and well-roasted cuts of meat.
Dead Ringer’s been a while in the making for Sloan and Hobbs, who searched far and wide for the perfect space before the Emmilou site came up. Between here, Middlebar and This Must Be the Place just around the corner, is Taylor Square finally shaping up?
Dead Ringer opens Friday September 11 at 413 Bourke Street, Surry Hills.