Entering Enmore Road drinking den, Bar Planet, is a transportive experience. To be specific: it’s like stepping into an art nouveau-era bistro that’s been installed on the moon.
It’s also the inner west outpost for the Mucho Aloha hospitality group, which is behind Cantina OK – a regular on the World’s 50 Best Bars list – as well as beloved Margarita bar Tio’s, late-night tiki club Cliff Dive and OK Sparkling Margarita Seltzer.
While the Margarita is the drawcard at Cantina OK, it’s all about the Martini at Bar Planet.
A lot of work has gone into Bar Planet’s signature Martini. Co-owner and beverage director Jeremy Blackmore worked with Marrickville’s Poor Toms to create a base spirit for the cocktail – something like a gin “mother stock” that’s constantly evolving with different seasonal fruits and botanicals.
The house Martini is poured from large Spanish decanters, known as porrons, which are chilled in a freezer and theatrically poured into a glass. Half-pour Martinis are also available, and you can get a smaller pour with soda for a lighter sip. If you’re specific about your Martini, you can absolutely choose your own adventure. Pick your gin, vodka and garnish; whether you like it wet, dry or filthy; and the expert bartenders will write your choices on the back of a coaster and mix the perfect drink.
Not a Martini fan? Try the weekly Scorpino – made with an ever-changing choice of wine and house-made sorbet. All beers, wines and spirits hail from Australia or New Zealand. The team’s Margarita seltzer is also in good supply.
Each visit begins with a bag of spiced savoury popcorn plopped in front of you. But if you need something more to keep you in check, the entire menu at Saray (the legendary late-night Turkish joint next door) is available to order in. Think kebabs, pide, snack packs, hot chips, salads and more.
As for the interstellar design, co-owners Alex Dowd and Daisy Tulley worked with art director Clayton Ciolac to a brief of “classic bistro crossed with psychedelics”. Large black lamps with squiggly stems arch from the back wall of the bar and over the bartenders. The incredible terrazzo bar top (created by Aussie artist David Humphries) is made with surfboard resin, jade, marble and rare French glass, and is embedded with cut-outs of stars, galaxy-like spirals, and sprawling suns.
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