You see, as a local I was always protected by the lack of decent drinking holes in my suburb. Sure, we have the Different Drummer and the AB Hotel has great bistro food, but for the most part it was easy for me to fight temptation in a suburb with limited options. If I lived in Surry Hills, on the other hand, I’d never get any work done.
Now, however, there’s a small bar called Timbah that opened on Forsyth Street (in what I believe used to be someone’s garage) and is run by the folks behind the bottleshop on the corner (Glebe Liquor). In true small-bar style it’s unobtrusive to say the least – you could walk past it without realising it’s there – but the inside is stylishly done.
As the name suggests, there’s a lot of wood here, from the counter to some wood panelling on the walls, and strands of taut rope are used as area partitions. The music is subdued – upbeat folk gypsy music plays while I’m here – and the crowd is mixed but seems to be largely local.
Drinks wise this is more of a wine bar than anything else. Rather than having a menu of wines by the glass, they instead have a range of bottles that they open and then alternate night by night, so that locals can always try something new and to keep the bottles fresh. Since it’s a stinking hot night the bartender suggests I try a chilled rosé and, even though it’s not my usual tipple of choice (am I the only who thinks there’s something suggestive about that word?), it does hit the spot.
I’m perched at the counter where there are a few stools but most of the seating is at tables and almost everyone else here is eating. The meals are written on a chalkboard and are mostly tapas-sized and seasonal – lightly-fried school prawns with aioli, kingfish carpaccio, cured yellowfin tuna – although there’s also a soft braised lamb dish for a main.
I come back the following week with a friend, where we order the duck and orange sausages with braised radicchio, the school prawns and the kingfish carpaccio with grapefruit, fennel and mint. The sausages are the highlight for me – short, plump and succulent with a rich hint of orange in them – but all the meals turn out well. The portions are tapas-sized, so you do need several to share.
The only other thing to note for now is that, being in a residential area, this isn’t a late night venue – apparently they’ll probably close at around 9pm on weeknights, although may stay later on weekends.
Timbah, around the corner from 375 Glebe Point Road, Glebe with the entrance on Forsyth Street.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Timbah?