Galah

Bars, Cocktail bars Windsor
4 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm
 (Photograph: Graham Denholm)
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Photograph: Graham Denholm

A ridgy-didge bar doing progressive wines, proper cocktails and creative food

Galah’s point of entry may be a bottle-o, but a cursory squiz at the shelves neatly stacked with Si Vintners and cloudy pet-nats is your first indication that this bar is more bougie than bogan. No one is greasing the wheels with pints of Carlton or tangy Yellowglen – they’re using organic, small producer and minimal intervention wines from across our wide brown land. And given it might be new territory for some, a short, sharp list is a blessing – just ten Australian reds and whites, a Gippsland rosé and a single Champagne sneaking past border patrol like a well-connected au pair.

Despite the progressive remit, the bar clearly understands that to entice followers to your malolactic-fermented flock, you've still gotta be delicious. It’s a mission easily accomplished with Whistler’s lively multi-blend of riesling, semillon, white frontignac and clairette delivering a blast of cold shower-freshness before easing into delicate floral fizz. The Hidden Sea shiraz bites boldly with spices and plum but doesn’t overstay its welcome on the palate. Our only quibble is that these wines are almost too fun, too drinkable at mid-teens a pop.

Why not keep the conscious consumption going with handsome vego snacks? There’s crisp-and-creamy sweet potato croquettes hiding nutty manchego; a vegan ‘terrine’ of ricotta-thick coconut yoghurt layered with piquillo peppers; eggplant and sticky grape jam; plus the evening’s compulsory order – battered cauliflower florets that shatter on impact, are velvety within, and come served with smoky chilli salt for dusting and lush salsa verde for swiping. Here’s to humble fried veg outshining its showier meat counterparts, whether edging out delicately gamey rabbit pies soothed with quenelles of crème fraîche, or routing a heavily salted gin-cured snapper.

That last kitchen misstep proves to be smart business, a quick catalyst for cocktails continuing the Australiana theme. A crisp Archie Rose sour, fresh with lemon verbena, drinks beautifully although the native aniseed foam and strawberry gum dust might be gilding the lily. More genuinely inspired is the Bushfire, where peated single malt genuinely whiffs of burnt scrub over sweet vermouth and bitters, with extra heat from gingery falernum.

Over the twilight hours, Galah shapeshifts seamlessly from jazzy loft bar to vibey cocktail lounge and finally, mildly bumping party. At some point a DJ appears, presiding from a booth suspended above the bar, while dates spill over from tables, perching on the central fireplace acting as hearth and heart of the room. Sit-down dinners stretch on languidly, while others seem ready to tap toes – clearly no one wants to fly the coop of this ace addition to Windsor.

By: Juliana Yu

Posted:

Venue name: Galah
Contact:
Address: 216a High St
Windsor
3181
Opening hours: Wed-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sun 3pm-1am.
Static map showing venue location