Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published February 8th 2013
Hidden Bar on Level 'R'
Continuing the craze of 'hidden' gems, the Keystone group has increased their portfolio with a semi-rooftop bar on York Street.
You would be forgiven for walking past it. The signage is terrible. The location is a semi-dodgy office foyer with outside signage of Cambridge College and harsh fluorescent lighting inside. This is its beauty and its curse. If we hadn't have already scribbled the address on a post-it note we would have walked right past. Awesome for securing a seat once inside and quick service, terrible to miss out on if you don't know it's there.
My accomplices were dubious as I pressed the elevator call button; "We're so trespassing!" they cried. However when the lift doors opened and a group of young 20-something-year-old males walked out, their confidence grew. Pressing the R button (in place of 7) for level 7 led us to a wonderland of dark wood and fairy-lights, my all-time favourite décor scheme.
Service was fantastic. Smiling bartenders were quick to respond to any eye contact and provided some entertainment with their flaring skills whilst we waited for our drinks. They were also extremely personable given the Friday night crowds. Every patron I saw conversing with them had the conversation opened with some variation of "Are you having a good night?" or "'How's your day been?", which is an unexpected treat in the world of busy bars where you sometimes only get slightly raised eyebrows and a grunt.
We had two rounds; the first in typical tumblers, the second in kitschy jam jars, which we all ooh and aahed over, showing just how on trend the venue was. A round of three gin and tonics (with freshly cut lime sliced and diced in front of me) with a serving of delicious truffle chips came in at just under $37. We were expecting prices to be higher at such a trendy venue.
The menu is quite small with a focus on lobster thus it is not for everyone, however the chips were delicious and they have various other offerings. Due to the limited food menu The Rook would only see me as an after-dinner drinker; I need slightly more menu items to see a bar as a dining destination. However this does little to dampen the appeal and we will certainly be back.
With smiling service, fantastic drinks and a wistful interior, The Rook won't remain a secret for long so head on down now and experience this new hidden hot spot.
We went last night, thanks to your review. I really liked it - the croquettes are AMAZING and I had the lobster roll, which is impressively generous with the large chunks of lobster tail. Nice review - it lured me to seek it out and we had a great night. Thanks