You don’t expect five-star hotels to have bars with mo-hawked DJs playing songs such as Dub Be Good To Me (one of my favourite songs in high school) – but then, Grain isn’t your average hotel bar.
Located in the Four Seasons in Circular Quay, Grain almost feels more like a small bar, albeit one that’s sleek and upmarket.
Aside from their music choice (they later play Take, Take, Take by The White Stripes) what I like most about Grain is the middle bar you can sit around – and the Left Hand Cocktail ($19) that I order.
Tasting like a dark, dirty, cocoa-addled negroni, this is now my new favourite cocktail and is made with bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari and chocolate bitters. If I could marry a cocktail and have its alcoholic children, I would ditch my cat and hitch up with this (and yes, I realise that sentence makes no sense for so many reasons).
Incidentally, I found the recipe for the Left Hand in a Wall Street Journal article about The PDT Cocktail Book, which I now desperately want to buy, along with a bottle of chocolate bitters (however, the recipe in the article says the cocktail should be served with cherries, whereas the one I get at Grain Bar has orange peel instead).
As the name suggests, Grain Bar uses a lot of wood in its décor, from the counter to the ceiling beams, plus the predominant colour here is brown – except for the creepy wall that’s covered by a web of little black men whose limbs join each other in a way that will haunt my alcohol-fuelled dreams.
At this point I have to pause: my cat is calling coquettishly to me, so I’m going to wrap this review up quickly so I can cater to his needs:
- Grain Bar has some unusual beers such as the Hitachino espresso stout from Japan ($14)
- You can sit up the front at the window overlooking George Street and look out at the passer-bys
- I should have ordered food, such as the hamburger made from pulled beef short rib ($21) or the red claw yabbies and Burnett yoghurt ($25) – but I didn’t, only to feel a keen sense of regret afterwards. I guess I feel so guilty for splashing out on cocktails every night that I feel like eating anything more extravagant than cocktail nuts would be too indulgent for me.
I have issues.
Talking of which, it’s time to tend to my cat.
Grain Bar, 199 George Street, Four Seasons hotel, Circular Quay, Sydney. See the Grain Bar website for more details.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Grain Bar?
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