From the street Gallon looks like just another storefront on Harris Street but if you step inside you’ll find yourself in a great small bar (well, a spacious small bar, if that’s not too much of a contradiction). There’s medieval-style stained-glass wrought-iron chandeliers (try saying that three times), a sandstone wall with a fake staircase going up it, wallpaper made from an old Websters dictionary, and a wooden-topped circular middle bar.
They also have a good wine list, as I find out when I go on on a Thursday night with the Amazonian Croatian. The Croatian orders the Chasing Clouds cab sav from Orange, which has a strong earthy smell and a beautifully rich and smooth flavour, while I try a Kiwi pinot noir called Lobster Reef.
I love Kiwi wines but I still prefer The Chasing Clouds out of the two, as does the Croatian. The Lobster Reef is still a decent pinot noir with a sweet berry aroma but I find myself liking the aroma more than the taste.
I also prefer the Climbing merlot – also from Orange – that I order afterward, thanks to its richness. In fact, I’m beginning to think it might be time for me to head up to Orange to check out their wineries. But I digress – back to Pyrmont.
The food in Gallon ranges from pizzas to small tapas-sized portions they call “Pieces”. The pizzas look good but we opt for the pork and veal meatballs, haloumi, as well as a half ball of bocconcini.
The hero dish is certainly the meatballs, which comes with a nice thick tomato-based sauce and fresh bread. The surprise meal is the haloumi, which comes with watermelon that’s been sprinkled with balsamic. The combination works well, although I could do without the lettuce strips on the plate that don’t do anything for me.
As for the bocconcini with crisp bread – well … it’s good bocconcini and the lemon juice works well with it but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wish I’d ordered a pizza instead.
My only real complaint with this bar, however, is the odd choice of dance music. The Croatian says it belongs in a Baltic discothèque and while my knowledge of Baltic nightlife is thin on the ground, it certainly doesn’t belong here. The crowd, which is mainly a well-to-do after-work type, certainly don’t seem to be bopping along to it. I suspect any other form of music – jazz, indie, soul, Tibetan cow bells – you name it – would work better with the bar’s atmosphere.
However, Gallon’s great décor and architecture (I love the arch in the middle of the room and the high ceilings) and the friendly service make up for this. If you live or work near Pyrmont there’s no excuse not to come here.
Gallon, 117 Harris Street, Pyrmont. Phone 0402 799 557.
View Larger Map
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Gallon?