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Grandma's Bar

Home > Sydney > Bars | Food and Wine | Nightlife
by Sarah Han (subscribe)
Lover of carbs, traveling, art & naps. Food & travel blog at
Published October 27th 2011
The website tells me that Grandma's is a "retro-sexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded granny glamour". Haven is right, but I gotta say I'm not sold on it being exceedingly kitschy or granny-like, only because it's so chic and modish at the same time.

Yes, there are rocking chairs and other mismatched furniture pieces along with knitting materials, but the overall energy is urban and brimming with personality. It's the kind of trendy character that you wouldn't normally associate with your grandma's house.

Regardless, I'm being finicky and I know for certain that I'm slowly falling in love with this place once I've put my foot through the door. Grandma's is hidden away in the concrete jungle that is Sydney in a basement that's visible from the street through a small window.

It's a boutique bar, if you will (in other words, pretty darn small). I'm meeting a friend here who has luckily managed to commandeer a corner near the bar. Quite a feat considering it's already packed - and it's only 6pm on a Friday. A brick wall is on one side, a wallpapered wall on the other. I definitely like how everything is mismatched, and yet feels perfectly in harmony at the same time.

I decide to order the Batidas, a Brazilian milkshake consisting of cachaca, tropical fruit, condensed milk and a little sugar blended together. The recommendation is passionfruit or banana - I go with passionfruit. It's creamy and milkshake-y (for lack of a better word). And it's wonderfully refreshing because it's a warm night.

Passionfruit Batidas ($18)

My accomplice in most adventures involving small bars, Miss D, orders the Dark & Stormy, which I don't try because I don't like ginger beer. But check out the cup! Me likey.

Cute cup, huh?

After witnessing some crazy, blue flames at the bar, Miss D asks the girls who ordered the awesome-looking tiki drink what it is. They tell her it's the Ultimate Mai Tai. Miss D and I make a beeline for the bar. And I have to say, I don't even remember what the drink tasted like because the cocktail-making experience is what's so memorable. It involves numerous shots of alcohol, cinnamon, fire and a little pan. I can't even remember in what order all of this happens because it was all just so exciting.

Ultimate Mai Tai

We didn't order any food while we were at Grandma's, but I'm determined to try one of the jaffles next time. It's turning into a bit of a trend and mantra lately, but I'll certainly be returning to this bar again in the near future.

The menu says, "There's no place like home, except Grandma's". I surely wouldn't mind having Grandma's as my second home.
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Why? Urban granny bar
When: Mon-Thur 3pm till late, Fri 12pm till 1am, Sat 5pm-1am
Where: Basement 275 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW
Cost: Around $18 for cocktails
Your Comment
Inreresting, need to try.
by inero (score: 1|19) 3111 days ago
Great place...... been a regular there for some time now.......

Ultimate Mai Tai is definitely a memorable experience! :)
by -adrian (score: 0|3) 2984 days ago
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