Update: Sadly, the Summer Tiki bar has gone the way of summer and is no longer running at Zeta. Still, you can find plenty of other Tiki options on Bar Zine – just type Tiki in the search bar at the top of this page and see what’s on offer
There’s no shortage of Tiki bars in Sydney these days but, for a scientific take on the genre, try Zeta’s balcony Tiki bar, which runs every Friday until Easter.
You can try the Pina Colada Nitro, an alcoholic cream dunked in liquid nitrogen. It ends up looking like a small frozen meringue – and you have seconds in which to pop it in your mouth, bite and inhale. It then evaporates in your mouth – at least, it feels that way since I certainly can’t recall swallowing anything – making it the most bizarre shot I’ve ever had. It’s priced from $5 for a single shot/inhale.
The Nitro’s my favourite tipple (if you can call it that) but I do like the alcoholic sorbets. These come in a range of tropical flavours, including Mai Tai, Zombie, Margarita and Dark and Stormy, but the one I’m especially taken with is the Mojito, in which the freshness of the mint (which you can see as tiny little green flecks in the white ice) makes this stand out. The sorbets are priced from $5 for a small cone.
There’s also a range of more traditional Tiki cocktails priced at $17, such as Mojitos made with fresh-pressed sugarcane and Pina Coladas and Mai Tais served in coconut shells and hollowed-out pineapples respectively.
Zeta also put in some cute touches to give the balcony more of a summer feel, such as the makeshift bamboo bar (complete with a 70s-style boombox), the 1950s-style icecream vending cart for the sorbets and the Tiki musicians banging drums and waving spears (at least, I think I saw a spear the Friday night I was there – either that or I had one too many sorbets).
Either way, the Friday Tiki nights are worth checking out.
Tiki bar on Friday nights at Zeta Bar, Level 4 of the Hilton, 488 George Street, Sydney. Check out the Zeta Bar site