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Ni Hao Bar

Home > Sydney > Bars | Cocktail Bars | Food and Wine | Nightlife | Restaurants
by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of www.justplattersbyrose.com.au do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published May 4th 2022
A bustling bar with modern Hong Kong delights
Ni Hao Bar is located on Level 1 in Sydney's Civic Hotel. It is home to delicious cocktails and alcoholic beverages and a modern twist of Hong Kong/Cantanose meals that complement the drinks.

According to their website, their aim is "Bringing the bustling nightlife and entertainment scene from 1970s Hong Kong to life". They certainly have achieved this!

The cool neon light sign


Atmosphere/Décor

Bustling it certainly was. Honestly, it was pretty loud for our liking, as my partner and I had to almost yell across to each other to hear one another.

The venue was packed!

There was a rowdy group of more than 20 people celebrating a birthday, which is fine, of course. However, they were extremely loud. (Not the venue's fault, however, I would have appreciated a friendly nudge from waitstaff to lower their vocals slightly or to consider that other patrons are at the venue too).

The fun & quirky looking DJ stage

The atmosphere is crazily chaotic. We have been to many bars before, however, this one was beyond loud, from the rowdy massive group to the live DJ pumping out beats next to us. This was quite off-putting, however, others might enjoy the loud atmosphere. (Maybe, we are just getting prematurely old?)

The décor was quirky and fun. It was enjoyable looking around and admiring all the chic décor.

The quirky and interesting murals


Menu & Service

The menu can be found online. There is a QR Code on each table. Scan the QR Code, which goes directly to the menu and where you can place and pay for your order.

Service:

I believe food/drinks and service go hand-in-hand. However, the only service we received was the usher taking us to our tables.



Food:

The food we received was Salmon Tartare ($26), Prawn Wonton ($24), Ni Hao Bao ($8 each), Broccolini ($18) and Spanner Crab Noodle ($32)

The Salmon Tartare with hot spicy chips - a small plate dish - was eye-catching and exciting.

The Salmon Tartare with Spicy Chips

The salmon tartare was slightly under-seasoned, however, it was fresh and smooth. The hot and spicy chips scooped up with the salmon added an excellent texture combination and lifted the salmon with the hints of spice from the chips.

The chips were crunchy and hot and spicy, true to their name. Overall, the dish was enjoyable.

Scooping up the salmon goodness

The next small plate dish was the Prawn Wonton (6 per serving), with spicy Sichuan dressing. Again, it was appealing like the salmon dish, and a mouth-watering aroma hit you.

The dumplings were cooked perfectly and there was the right amount of prawn mixture. The mixture was seasoned nicely and was not overcooked and the flavours worked well together.

Prawn Wonton


It was questionable with the spicy Sichuan however as the Sichuan becomes present as an aftertaste, and it is quite faint for Sichuan. This was a letdown, as both my partner and I love spicy foods. Overall, it was enjoyable, and the textures and flavours complemented each other.

The Ni Hao Bao-Pork katsu with XO mayo and pickled onion. This was the highlight of the evening's meal. The bun was fresh, soft and fluffy, and the fillings were packed with flavours and textures.

The Ni Hao Bao

The pork katsu was cooked perfectly and had the right amount of crunch, accompanied by the XO mayo and pickled onion with the soft, fluffy, and slightly sweetened bun, the starter cannot be faulted! All the elements worked so well together, from textures and flavours to seasoning.

Broccolini with sesame, furikake- The broccolini was cooked perfectly. The slight crunch combined with the sesame and furikake (a Japanese seasoning made with toasted sesame seeds, nori, salt and sugar) took this humble vegetable to a whole new level.

The furikake added a wonderful texture and flavour and worked well with the perfectly cooked broccolini.

The Broccolini with sesame & Furikake

Spanner Crab Noodle-XO Pork crumbs. The dish had some great elements, including the al dente noodles and flavourings on the noodles. However, there was almost a tablespoon worth of crab, and unfortunately, the crab was slightly overcooked and left a mushy-like texture on the palate. For that price tag, we expected something more exquisite and substantial.

Overall, it felt like the dish needed more oomph, maybe more crab meat, and possible vegetable additions for texture?

The Spanner Crab Noodles


They do have desserts, however, this was not offered to us at the time of visit.

Drinks:

We were given the Jackie Chan and Wo Ai Ni Cocktails. The Jackie Chan ($20) included tequila, kaffir lime, lemongrass, galangal, passionfruit and chilli agave.

The exotic and aromatic flavours from the kaffir lime, lemongrass, galangal and chilli agave awakened the senses and caused a magical dance to the palate. The combination of tequila, fruity passionfruit and Asian aromatics was action-packed, just like the name!

The Jackie Chan Cocktail


The Wo Ai Ni ($19) included Yuzushu, vodka, lemon, Ribena, and soda. This was quite interesting. The combination of the Yuzushu (Japanese citrus fruit liquor) with lemon, Ribena and soda added a fruity, delicate and floral taste. However, the vodka wasn't really present - in saying that, it was a refreshing and easy cocktail to drink and enjoy.

Both cocktails were outstanding, packed a punch with exotic flavours and were the saving grace for our dining experience.

Overall, the food is quite pricy for the food portions and items received - in saying that, some dishes were delicious, cooked perfectly and enjoyable.

The drinks were amazing and the flavours were incredible, making it worth coming back to Ni Hao Bar for just their cocktails.

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*Gypsy Rose was invited as a guest
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Why? A bustling bar with fun & exotic drinks
When: Wednesday: 5pm-11pm, Thursday: 5pm-Midnight, Friday: 12am-12pm & 5pm-2am, & Saturday: 5pm-2am
Phone: 0473 223 293
Where: The Civic Hotel, Level 1/388 Pitt St, Sydney
Your Comment
Sounds like a fun place to visit - if you're youngish. All the dishes look different and appertising.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4054) 23 days ago
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