It’s the rooftop wa­ter­front bar Syd­ney has al­ways de­served, but only just re­ceived

Time Out (Sydney) - - BAR AWARDS -

IT’S ONLY ONCE you’re sit­ting on the beau­ti­ful deck of this third-floor cock­tail lounge that you re­alise it was the miss­ing piece of Syd­ney’s bar puz­zle all along. Un­til now, we’ve only been play­ing at be­ing a global, har­bourfront city, be­cause our high stakes wa­ter­front drink­ing was lim­ited to fancy ho­tels and Opera Bar. So the Solo­tel group went and made Opera Bar a suave sis­ter in the form of Smoke – the crown­ing glory of Baranga­roo House. Up here, things are strictly pro­fes­sional. You are greeted at the en­trance­way, shown to a seat, started a tab and pos­si­bly given a time limit un­til the next book­ing ar­rives (they do not fol­low the find­ers keep­ers rules here). Mind you, a kind word to the chic floor staff in black can re­sult in another ta­ble as it be­comes avail­able. All of this care­ful ser­vice makes drink­ing here feel like more of an event, and not un­like a restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence, so you may as well or­der up a serve of Wagyu hanger steak skew­ers plumbed with an iron depth and salty tang and wear­ing a vel­vet soft war­ri­gal greens sauce. It’s a steak din­ner in un­der six bites. Skew­ers of chicken skins cooked un­til crunchy and sea­soned will shame chicken salt into noth­ing but a mem­ory, and the oys­ters here are so creamy they’re pos­i­tively lewd. More cock­tails are over $20 than un­der, but they’re made with fi­nesse. Or­der with con­fi­dence from the menu and cool down with the Lit­tle Le­ich­hardt: a tall, fun­time mix of rose gin, white ver­mouth, limon­cello and blood or­ange soda capped with a sweet snow­ball of Cam­pari sor­bet. It’s packed with cit­rus, but all the hard edges are pol­ished to a golden glow. And if you want to be courted by a tequila cock­tail, the Smoke ’n’ Screens will sneak it past you dis­guised with lime juice, a cherry stain and smoked rose­mary. Now that we have a rooftop, wa­ter­front cock­tail bar of this cal­i­bre, it seems mad­ness that we have gone so long with­out one. Your only is­sue is beat­ing the crowds to get the glory seats out in the sun­shine. ÒLvl 3, 35 Baranga­roo Ave, Baranga­roo 2000. 02 8587 5400. www.baranga­ Mon-Wed 3pm-mid­night; Thu-Sun noon-mid­night.

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