Grasshopper – Sydney CBD


Created by the same folk that ran Seven Metre Bar (7M), Grasshopper is possibly Sydney’s hardest to find laneway bar. Located on Temperance Lane, which runs off George Street, it’s not visible from the main street and the Amazonian Croatian and I aren’t even sure we have the right place until we walk up the lane and see a large open doorway with people drinking inside.

The top level of Grasshopper is a restaurant with an open kitchen and an aroma that makes us regret having fish and chips before coming here. The menu is limited to some classics such as steak poivre and pork and parsley terrine and the dining atmosphere is seductive and low-lit, with intimate little tables. In other words, this would be perfect for taking a date.

However, the Amazonian and I instead head downstairs to the bar, which has a hip, funky vibe. One side is wallpapered with kitsch black-and-white still shots of people performing kung fu, there are 70s-era armchairs and lamps, old records are used as coasters and there’s an overall vibe that would be very much at home in Melbourne.

As with 7m, some of Grasshopper’s cocktails are served in jars, such as my no. 3 (all the drinks here have numbers rather than names, much like an Asian takeaway). Made with gin, vermouth, orange, Campari and raspberry syrup, the no. 3 has a fresh and strong orange flavour. Both the Amazonian and I prefer her no. 7, however, which is made with calvados, Fernet-Branca (an Italian amaro), orange and almond syrup. This is served in a small cocktail glass and has a complex flavour with the almond syrup giving it a slight nutty edge that works beautifully with the bitterness of the amaro and the sweetness of the orange.

I come back a few months later with the Gay Wingman and try a new cocktail of theirs called the no. 20. Made with tequila, brandy, cherry, Cynar (a bitter Italian apéritif where the main ingredient is artichoke) and served with orange peel, this is now my favourite Grasshopper cocktail. The bartender served it because I told him about my sazerac addiction and there are similarities, with the brandy and the cherry’s sweetness working well with the Cynar bitters. The tequila adds a subtle earthiness to it and the result is a smooth, balanced and well-thought out cocktail.

Overall, Grasshopper is a cosy and welcome addition to Sydney’s bar scene – and if we get a few more laneway bars like this then we’ll really be giving Melbourne a run for its money.

Grasshopper, Temperance Lane (between 389 and 391 George Street), Sydney CBD. Open Monday to Friday. See the Grasshoppper website or phone 9947 9025 for more details


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Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Grasshopper Bar?

19 Comments Grasshopper – Sydney CBD

  1. tige

    Ah!! Friday night I was trying to find this place along with two of my friends. We walked around for ages as we read up online that it was at 4/40 York St and we ended up at Bavarian Bier Cafe, then Name that Bar, then Spectrum. It was really frustrating and the Grasshopper website is blank as you know. and I read your review after getting home. :)

  2. Aiii

    Will have to check this one out. I am looking for a cool venue to have my 30th, do you know there if there is an area that we could have?

  3. Dan

    Aiii: It’s a relatively small venue – there’s no function area, although maybe they could reserve a corner for you. You could try calling them on 9947 9025 to see.

  4. Chi

    I suppose with their name being the grasshopper, they would have the cocktail as well? I’ve been trying to find a bar that makes the classic cocktails (ones mixed with creams :D mmmhmm calories)as well as open to some of the new ones.

  5. Shez

    OMG… This Place is absolutly awersome, and the Steak is realy the best fillet of steak i have had in a very long time, I finished my night off with #9 its addictive. A great night… Thanks xx

  6. keseb

    awesome food and great servive to go with it,and love the fact dnt have to walk to far to go for a drink afterwards.lol.

  7. Kate

    Both times that I went here the bar downstairs was packed. No standing room even. I couldn’t hear my date over the noise of the crowd. It is a really cute little bar, it is just a shame that so many people know about it. I suggest getting there early or avoiding peak hour altogether.

  8. Cheryl

    Downstairs was packed, the atmosphere was humming. We managed to get a table upstars for dinner. The menu is limited but supplimented with daily specials. I had a Hot & Sour Crab soup for entree, Crispy skinned barra for main and a chocolate and pistacio dessert to die for. It was quite possibly the best meal I have ever had. Definitely the best in a long time. It may be hard to find but definitely worth the effort.

  9. Becsta

    Hi Dan
    Would Grasshopper be a good cocktail bar to go to with a bunch of girlfriends on a Friday night? Seems everyone’s only criticism is lack of space in this place… Ahh, help! Can you please suggest a great cocktail bar for some girly girls in the CBD?? BTW, love your site! Just wish I could make a decision.. dang it!

  10. Dan

    Hi Becsta,

    Glad you like the site! Grasshopper is a great place for a girl’s night out in that it’s a stylish and friendly place where you’re not likely to get hit on by drunken, sleazy men such as myself. I’d be surprised, however, if it isn’t very busy this Fri and space is limited. In fact, it can be competitive finding a seat in the middle of the week there.

    If you want to go drinking in the CBD then I’d still recommend sticking your head in Grasshopper to try your luck – especially if you get there early. Other bars for a girl’s night out that are relatively near Grasshopper could be Zeta (http://barzine.com.au/zeta-bar-hilton.html) – although you’d want to get there early too – and the Dome Lounge on the second floor at the Arthouse (http://barzine.com.au/arthouse-sydney.html – although I’d avoid the ground floor bars there!).

    Small Bar and Balcony Bar are good and nearby but will definitely be packed as well – so if space is important the only other CBD recommendation would be to try a hotel bar (such as the Conservatory Bar at the Sheraton on the Park (http://barzine.com.au/conservatory-bar-in-sydney.html).

    Lastly, if you cross Hyde Park then you can try Gotham (http://barzine.com.au/gotham-darlinghurst.html) – it’s so new that it might not be full yet!

    Good luck and let me know how you go!

  11. Miss Feathers

    You just have to go back to Grasshopper to eat!

    I only got the chance to go there last night, and was lucky enough to get a spot where you felt like you were actually in the kitchen. At one point I almost felt like helping out with the chopping and mixing.

    The head chef passed us our meals and happily explained the dishes that we were eating. The Salmon and the Steak au Poivre are a must! Also, if they have the raspberry souffle on the specials board when you visit, you have to try it out. So light and fluffy with an amazing raspberry coulee to match.

    The staff are friendly, the vibe is just right and there was not one orange girl with stripper heels in sight!

  12. Becsta

    Last night’s “Girls’ Night Out” was a hit at Grasshopper! We managed to get a seat on the lounge and enjoyed sipping away most of the cocktail list, no.’s 19 & 16 were particular favourites. Definitely will be back! Thanks again for the recommendation!

  13. Dan

    Miss Feathers: you’re right, I do have to go back to eat there! I’ve had my eye on their steak poivre for a while now.

    Becsta: That’s excellent news – and I’m glad you got a seat! I think the CBD needs more bars like Grasshopper.

  14. Simon Leigh

    What a great place! The only bar in Sydney that sells Fernet! Remember a Frenet and Cola is called a Fernando.
    Best kept in the freezer!
    Will def be coming back!!!!!!

  15. Richard

    Absolute Joke! Ordered the Pork Belly which they stated was only an entree at $18. They offered to upsize me to a main for a ‘small fee’. When the bill arrived they charged me for 2 entrees ($38) and refused to back down. First and last time I’ll be going there.

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