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A dark bar with lanterns hanging from the ceiling
Photograph: Supplied | Vinabar

Time Out says

This dark and moody Vietnamese micro-bar hides behind a banh mi cart on Kent Street

Sydney has a thing for secret bars. You’ll find them hiding behind delis, butchers, barbershops, a seamstress, or even, a set of backstreet wheelie bins. If you like the thrill of a scavenger hunt, make sure to mark Sydney’s newest Vietnamese-inspired micro-bar on your map.

Vinabar is not only hidden in plain sight behind a banh mi cart, but is tucked away within the lively lanes of Kent Street. The venue itself is no bigger than a two-car garage, with a handful of intimate tables and stools at the black marble bar. Sixty colourful silk lanterns imported from Hoi An hang from the ceiling, while a scaled replica of the Golden Hand Bridge from Da Nang doubles as bar shelving. 

You have four cocktails to play with at any one time – each spotlighting exotic fruits from Southeast Asia – plus three wines, two beers and one mocktail. Vinabar’s Cà Phê Martini has taken centre stage as the crowd-favourite cocktail. This cheeky riff on an Espresso Martini infuses the sweetness of condensed milk and shaved coconut with Vietnamese coffee and vodka. A Pocky stick serves as your wand to mix the magic together.

If you’re feeling cheeky, go for the Da Nang. This concoction of cognac, pineapple, coconut, mint and pandan foam is garnished with a whipped cream charger. If you didn’t already get the memo, this finishing touch is reminiscent of a ‘nang’ – so, use it as you please.

Another twisted tipple is Vinabar's Vinagroni, which features juniper jin, smoked hickory, Campari and vermouth. After being crowned with a dehydrated carambola (starfruit), this cocktail almost resembles the Vietnamese flag.

You really only have two options for food at Vinabar. Keep in on brand with a baby banh mi, served with a shot of G7 Vietnamese coffee. Or, keep it light with their weekly fresh fruit special, jazzed up with a sprinkle of chilli salt. Pick your poison and play on. 


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Melissa Woodley
Written by
Melissa Woodley


332 Kent St
View Website
Opening hours:
Daily 4pm-2am
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