Unless you’re treating yourself to miscellaneous rotisserie-sliced meats or awesome Portuguese chicken chains, late-night dining options in Kings Cross can be a little thin on the ground. But one recent addition to the Potts Point bar scene is looking to change that, with a fresh mix of Japanese food aimed at the after-ten crowd.
Just down from the heaving masses at World Bar
and Candy’s Apartment
, Crane Bar is a great option for those who want the action of a night in the Cross with more of a chilled vibe. And there’s some seriously good food here, whether you’re in for a sit-down dinner or snacks between cocktails.
Start with edamame. Chilli and truffle salt make the soybean pods both zingy and earthy. Steamed-then-fried gyoza are god’s gift to bar snacking, while sushi rolls are beautifully presented and great for sharing. Try the ‘fire crunch’: spicy tuna with crisp-fried onions and tobiko roe.
Skip the exxy sashimi and go for the chicken karaage. Presumably Japanese for ‘put all of these in my mouth right now’, these little pieces of crisp, fried chicken are served with a wasabi mayonnaise that offers plenty of spark without the horseradish afterburn.
Cocktail-wise, our pick is the Yuzu Sour (yes, we go back for seconds) thanks to its delicately citrusy taste and refreshing variation on the lemon Warhead theme that many bars try to dole out. For savoury drinks fans, the Umami Mary delivers on the promised fifth element of Japanese flavour, while the Miyagi Mule has a strong ginger ale base and all the kick of its namesake. Best of all, the gents behind the bar mix the goods with plenty of sass and none of the pretension that you might expect from a bar in this end of club-town.
For those who want to kick on beyond the dinner table, the open-air lounge at the back is taken over in the later hours with a spiral staircase (trucked in from the set of The Great Gatsby, no less) serving as a DJ booth. If you’re tired of throwing shapes around the tree sprouting up through the dance floor, you can retire into the VIP room in the back corner, which offers a more traditional tea house vibe for private groups.
Crane offers solid cocktails, friendly staff and food that’s made for popping in your mouth between stints on the DF. If you were looking for late-night digs in the Cross for grown ups, you’ve found it.