Fix Wine Bar and Restaurant
Time Out says
A true pioneer in the Sydney wine bar stakes that’s stood the test of time
Nowadays, there seems to be a European-style wine bar with inventive share plates on every other corner. But back in 2006, there wasn’t a single one. Fix was the very first, and it’s a testament to owner Stuart Knox’s vision that it still stands tall today.
You might well be an after-work regular, but there’s every chance you’ve walked by the place a thousand times without even knowing it or haven’t heard of it at all. That unassuming, unpretentious nature – and the fact that it still feels like a well-kept secret – certainly has something to do with the joint’s remarkable staying power, but mostly it comes down to the unrivalled hospitality and the incredible wine selection.
This is an oenophile’s paradise: a wine bar for people who are deeply interested in drinking it, regardless of whether they’re a certified sommelier or a curious neophyte. The deeply personal list spans 38 pages, and it’s packed with anecdotes, musings and bits of random humour – like an empty page that proclaims it’s been “intentionally left blank (for now)". There are 100 (!) drops by the glass, which start at a surprisingly reasonable ten bucks – and you’re not getting plonk. Instead, it’s a fresh and fragrant 2014 grenache blanc from the Côtes du Roussillon. Make it two, please.
Given the prime CBD location, you’d be forgiven for thinking this might be a rip-off merchant, but Fix is really anything but. Most glasses tend to hover in the low-to-mid teens, but nobody’s stopping you from indulging in a $95 75ml pour of a Penfold’s Grange back vintage. Regardless of the budget, no detail is spared. Even a $13 glass of bright and fleshy King Valley gamay arrives in a gleaming Riedel Burgundy bowl big enough for a goldfish to call home. No trendy tumblers or mini tasting glasses here – this is proper wine drinking, as it should be.
Fix has always done a roaring lunch trade, but the doors swing open at 8am, which makes it just as worthy a morning pitstop for a coffee and a quick flick through the paper. The real magic happens at night, however, long after the happy-trade and the roar of buses on Elizabeth Street have died down. You often feel like you’ve got the entire place – and the city, for that matter – to yourself, and letting Knox wax lyrical about the list is a brilliant way to while away the hours and discover new favourites.
Don’t overlook the food. Plates here – tender kangaroo yakitori with creamy macadamia satay sauce, say, or school prawns adrift in a sea of milky stracciatella and pungent shellfish oil – are versatile and creative. But if that all sounds like a bit much, cheeses and charcuterie are both on point, and the seriously spiced fried chicken is one of the best in town. It’s yet another way Fix proves it’s a jack of all trades, and a master of them, too.