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Lil Sis

  • Bars
  • Chippendale
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. The bottle shop at Lil Sis
    Photograph: Steven Woodburn
  2. Interior of Lil Sis
    Photography: Supplied/Steven Woodburn
  3. Snacks and wine at Lil Sis
    Photograph: Steven Woodburn
  4. The outside of Lil Sis
    Photograph: Steven Woodburn
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Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Lil Sis doesn’t feel like a bar, but rather a home of someone you love (who happens to have excellent taste in wine and snacks)

Truth time. I have one sibling – an older brother. And while I love him, and hold onto his pearls of wisdom like it’s a new Dior tote (one can dream), I’m starting to think a younger sister would have been good. Well, one in particular. Lil Sis – Chippendale’s new-ish neighbourhood wine bar that’s charming, cosy, and up for a fun time, just like a li'l sis would be.

The late-night bar and bottle shop is found right next door to the Abercrombie in a character-fueled terrace. On the ground floor is the shop part of the equation – a gorgeous, tangerine-coloured space with natural light, pops of greenery and a round communal table. Wine bottles are lined up, and we’re told that if we see one we like, we can buy it and enjoy upstairs (a corkage fee applies, apart from on Sundays). The hybrid bottlo/bar model is similar to what we’ve seen in recent openings of Famelia and Spon – and we dig it.

Walking in we instantly feel relaxed. The walls are lit up by ornate lights and dressed with eclectic artworks that look like ones our grandparents had. At the back, coffee-brown seating is coupled with wooden, elongated octagon tables that you can tell were made by someone like Aidan Shaw, not Ikea. The orange has made its way up, but here it’s a softer shade, and underneath our feet are well-worn Persian rugs. The table we’re seated at is marble, and there’s a candle in the middle gently flickering.

We don’t feel like we’re in a bar, but in the home of someone we love.

Thankfully, it’s a bar, and we’re thirsty, so it’s time for a drink. The wine menu has been curated by the expert taste buds of Zoe Brunton, who was most recently the head sommelier for Monopole, so we know to expect some interesting and funky drops. (Most of the time she'll be around to make recommedations, though not today.) What stands out to us first though, are the price points. We spot glasses of vino for $13, $14 and $15, which is as refreshing as chomping on cool cucumbers at Porkfat.

It’s a Sunday, and we’re told it’s aperitivo hour, so we begin with a glass of Elena Pamo Vermouth di Torino from Piedmont, Italy, for $7. It’s full-bodied and sweet, with a hint of vanilla, and honestly we’re falling more in love with vermouth as the days go on.

Our date orders an Adelaido cocktail – ‘A polaroid of an Adelaide sunset’ – made from Okar Island Bitter, Unico Zelo Yuzu Vermouth and soda. It's bright, bitter, balanced and not too sweet. Plus, it’s $18 – so two thumbs up.

We kick things off with four Gildas – a punchy, salty bite made up of a buttery green olive, fatty anchovy and vinegary guindilla pepper with a sprinkle of zesty lemon rind. Can you live off Gildas? Asking for a friend.

Next, taramasalata the colour of snow arrives spiked with purple sweet potato chips that look like tie-dye dinosaur spikes, and scattered with chopped chives and fish roe. The crisp chips are the ideal vehicle for the creamy and salty dip, and we want to recreate it at our next soirée.

We pair that with a glass of chilled 2022 Express Winemakers Drinking Wine, a blend of grenache, malbec and pinot noir from Western Australia’s Great Southern region. It’s juicy and as per the name, highly drinkable.

Chopped-up tender octopus comes entangled with white beans, tomato, pickled red onion and parsley, and a good squeeze of citrus adds tang. It’s fresh, light and tastes like spring on a plate.

Of course, we have to order the Heinz spaghetti jaffle, which comes with the grown-up version of cheddar instead of plastic cheese. It’s nostalgic, delicious, hearty and frankly there’s nothing else we want from a wine bar snack.

Our last wine – a glass of 2021 Oats End Tempranillo from Margaret River – is vibrant, bright, singing of fruit flavour, and the nicest drop we’ve had in a long time.

Lil Sis is exactly the kind of place we wish we lived around the corner from (and we wish was open when we went to uni right across the road). With prices that make you feel at ease, brilliant wine and tasty snacks, it’s a bar you can settle in to and feel good at.

We’re nearing the end of our final drink when our waitress comes over and asks: Is life treating you well? And we think to ourselves, sitting here at Lil Sis, it is indeed.

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Just like a nice glass of wine, you’ll want to drink up this gorgeous bar and bottle shop again and again

Avril Treasure
Written by
Avril Treasure

Details

Address:
100 Broadway
Chippendale
Sydney
2008
Cross street:
Enter via Abercrombie St and go upstairs
Contact:
View Website
Opening hours:
Wine bar: Wed-Sun, 4pm-late; Bottle shop: Tues-Sun 4pm-11pm

What’s on

International Women's Day at Lil Sis

  • Food and drink

Seven of Sydney’s top female sommeliers and chefs from Aria, Chiswick, Opera Bar, Chez Blue, and Lil Sis are coming together for a two-night-only series at Chippendale coolest wine bar to mark International Women’s Day. The killer talent will be joining forces across the two evenings at Lil Sis to create a gorgeous menu and wine spread based on their shared love of excellent drops, delicious food, and a damn good time. Sydney hospitality and hotel group Solotel is behind the special chick soirée, which will feature a top-tier line-up of somms, including Lil Sis’ own Zoe Brunton, master of wine and Solotel’s lead sommelier Annette Lacey, Aria’s Vikki Lou Peng, Chiswick’s Georgie Davidson-Brown and Chez Blue’s Eva Santaguida. Throughout the evening they will be pouring a selection of their favourite female-produced vino, and yes, we would like another glass, please. Food wise, Opera Bar chef Naomi Xavier will be teaming up with Aria’s head pastry chef Aoife Noonan to put on a six-course share-style menu, featuring produce from top female Aussie producers like Alto Olive Oil, Holy Goat Cheese, Garlicious, Grassland Poultry, Allous chocolate and Singing Magpie figs. Think: charcuterie with fig leaf sourdough and olive oil; jamon and manchego croquettes with black aioli; chicken ballotine with butternut squash and agrodolce; and coffee cremeux with a white chocolate and vanilla cream puff pastry with Amaretto caramel. The IWD event at Lil Sis will be going down on Thursday, March

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