Italian pub food meets Australian faves in Bar 100’s newly launched summer menu.
There’s a seasonal change at Bar 100. The sun is out and the POETS day (if you have to ask what this is, you’re not doing it right) suits have claimed the venue’s open and inviting terrace of wooden bar stools and tables, faux green grass and Overseas Passenger Terminal views.
But it’s lunch time and the real deal’s inside at 8 Brothers Brasserie (8BB).
For those of you who haven’t visited Bar 100’s restaurant on level 2 of this historic building, it’s an intimate space of dim lighting with splashes of neon purple to it that modern ‘edge’. And while you can still order its offerings from the bar, the table service in the dining area is just one of the things you’ve come here for. The other being its Italian-Australian cuisine, obviously.
Being the time-pressed workaholics we are, we’ve already scoured the completely reworked, summer menu and enter with meals already in mind. But being the service-heavy restaurant 8BB is, we’re not about to be steered in the wrong direction.
In between the Aussie pub grub favourites of chargrilled grain fed scotch fillets ($15 on Tuesdays) and the Bar 100 beef burger ($10 on lunch, Fridays and Saturdays and all-day Sunday) are more specialised offerings from the hands of the youngest chef to receive two-hats, Timothy Fisher. Of course, that was during the 11-years he spent working the kitchen at Paddington’s Lucio’s. But he’s at Bar 100 now. Has been for over a year. And judging by the plates at 8BB, we’re betting it’s only a matter of time until he receives a bragging right at this venture, too.
So it’s here where we find ourselves steered away from the traditional pub grub and onto Tim’s speciality: Italian. Sicilian olives pass our eyes, but we’re told if there’s one starter we should try it’s the salt cod and zucchini fritters. They come out as three soft, meaty chunks covered in spicy mayonnaise and are cleaned up quick.
Our mains too have since been overshadowed by the allure of Tim’s spaghettini with Alaskan king crab and pan roasted barramundi. The first is the ideal harmony of crab, pasta and sauce - because the only thing worse than a spaghettini with too much pasta and not enough sauce is one with too much sauce and not enough crab. This one’s done it right.
Then there’s the barramundi, resting on a bed of pearl barley, tomato, orange and capers. The skin is crisp and crackly, the meat is thick and juicy and the cut is understatedly generous. Our waitress comments that some diners believe the portion is too large and looking at the amount we’re leaving behind, we’d be inclined to agree. Except it really was our fault for ordering a starter… and a side salad of burrata, crushed peas, mint, basil and prosciutto. Whoops.
Some things are just too good to pass up. Bar 100’s Italian fare is one of them. Its daily pub-grub specials of $10 pizzas (Monday), $15 James Squire battered fish and chips (Wednesday) and $10 pastas (Thursday), is another.
And then we move up to the main bar with its cathedral-high ceilings on level 3 for cocktails and realise something: we’ve become one of those POETS day workers. And it’s, bar none, too fine outside to go back to work today.
Where: 100 George Street, Sydney
When: Monday to Friday 12pm-2am, Saturday 12pm-3am, Sunday 12pm-12am
Facebook: Bar 100