Bar 100 adds style to Sydney convict outpost

Jonathan Porter

Previously long-suffering Sydneysiders and visitors now face what is almost an embarrassment of riches, with the opening of the $13 million Bar 100.

Let’s face it. Some of the pubs in The Rocks hail from the days when Sydney boozers had tiled floors so the staff could hose out blood and teeth after the infamous six o’clock swill.

The area itself is famous as a repository of English reprobates and Irish recalcitrants, and is now one of the city’s major tourist drawcards. An upscale pub has been all that’s missing – until now.

Over the past few years and with the easing of draconian licensing laws dozens of tiny cool micro bars have sprung up around town. Places where it’s possible to have a quiet drink after work, or even slake one’s thirst in the heat of the day, for thirst is a dangerous thing.

Bar 100 goes in the other direction – a swish and polished drinking establishment over three levels with nice hardwood floors, four bars and even a “seegar’’ deck with a view of the famous harbour and Opera House.

You can smoke your favourite stogie, revel in the nation’s rich convict past while savouring its present and contemplating its probably terminal future.

Created in one of the colony’s oldest buildings – a former church – there are plenty of nooks and crannies for a quiet chat and lots of room in the bechandeliered, high-ceilinged spaces for some serious lounging, hanging out and working your way through the extensive cocktail list.

There for the bar’s gala opening, I mainly stick with the Middle Eastern themed cocktails with pomegranate and rose petals. Of course there is no way this lolly water is going to get me stocious, I pronounce to anyone who will listen. Until that is, I’m having trouble pronouncing anything.

Bar 100’s 8Brothers Brasserie, is named after owners, the eight Kazal brothers who hail from Lebanon and have worked for the best part of a decade to bring us this stylish and welcome addition to Sydney’s drinking and dining scene.

Executive chef, Michael Rantissi’s share plates are available all-day and late into the night.

“BAR100 focuses only on superb quality and cutting edge food, entertainment and drinks, in a world class venue. This is the place you come to drink and eat,” says owner, Charif Kazal.

“This venue offers something for everyone whether you are entertaining VIP clients, a family for Sunday lunch or a group of friends wanting to dance the night away on the weekend. It is a rarity to combine all those elements in the Sydney market”.

Rantissi has a passion for French Middle Eastern cuisine, which has been evolving since he was a young lad growing up in Israel with a French mother and a Greek father where he captured the aromas and flavours of his mother’s Israeli kitchen.
With previous stints at Melbourne’s Vue De Monde, Sydney’s Pier Restaurant and Bather’s Pavilion, Michael is excited about his new role at the impressive BAR100, where the menus he creates will have a strong Middle Eastern and Mediterranean slant.
The menu will consist of desirable ‘mid Eastern street food’ inspired share plates and woodfire pizzas as well as a comprehensive menu which includes the freshest meat and seafood sourced from local Australian suppliers.
Share plates include Moroccan marinated lamb back strap with preserved lemon and saffron cous cous as well as Fatoush salads with crispy croutons and sumac dressing.
The handmade crispy wood fired pizzas include a honey roasted pumpkin base with green olives and grated haloumi cheese; a zucchini topped option with pomegranate molasses, as well as a Dukkah crusted lamb pizza with red harissa, sheep feta, almonds, olives and mint.
“My food fuses Middle Eastern ingredients with French cooking techniques,” Rantissi explains.
“The dishes are very familiar and comforting to me, but these are foods and flavours that will excite people who’ve not experienced them before.
“For me eating is as much about the joy of sharing, as the dishes themselves.”

Bar 100

100 George Street

The Rocks

Sydney Australia

+61 (0) 8070 9311

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