This sultry bar in the backstreets of Manly taps into a specific local demographic. And it’s fair to say owner Kurtis Bosely (who also operates Dee Why’s Corretto) and executive chef Dan Webb (formerly of O Bar & Dining and Annata) are having some fun with it.
To that end, you might order an entree of classic Scotch eggs dipped in a curry mayo with a plate of oozy miso-glazed eggplant and labneh. Or you enjoy a twist on a sticky toffee pudding (with rum-roasted pineapple bits) after cured ocean trout topped with crème fraîche, fried capers, fresh nectarine and a smoked olive oil from Mount Zero in Victoria.
When Broadsheet visits, the full-blood Wagyu madras pie is the highlight. Anyone who’s visited England’s beloved curry houses will recognise the inspiration and influence behind it. It’s served with tzatziki, apricot chutney and (naturally) pappadums.
While the desserts change regularly, an opening highlight was a take on the iconic Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Here, it’s made with Ecuador 70 per cent dark-chocolate mousse.
While the menu nods to many British traditions, the handsome fit-out feels very Sydney. Without views of the water, attention is drawn to the interiors instead with a mix of textures, natural materials and tiles. From the street, a neon-lit wine bottle gestures for you to come inside, where dark cork, terracotta tiles and brass line the walls. Timber beams are suspended from the ceiling, and a wooden shelf that skims the roof is stocked with some of the menu’s 300-odd natural wines.
A tap protruding from the wall near the bar pours out a selection of draught cocktails. This includes the Amanda-Rin Gimlet, with gin, Sakura vermouth, lemon myrtle, mandarin, sansho-pepper cordial and citrus. They’re backed by a solid list of made-to-order drinks.
Beers and Italian Tassoni sodas are also on offer. And, in another nod to the neighbourhood, a non-alcoholic G&T made with nearby distiller Seadrift’s non-alcoholic spirit, saltbush and seaweed.