It is undeniably the northern CBD’s time to shine. Not so long ago the responsibility for ace drinks and good times north of Wynyard fell squarely on Bulletin Place’s shoulders, but in the last few month’s we’ve been gifted Hubert and Kittyhawk by the cocktail gods, and now Bouche on Bridge, an 80 seat modern European restaurant with a 60 seat bar beneath it is being added to the mix. Pre-theatre dinners and post work drinks have never been better at this end of town.
In the mezzanine kitchen Harry Stockdale-Powell (ex-Easy Eight, Marque and Rockpool) will be shaking the pans with sommelier Seamus Brandt (ex-Rockpool Bar and Grill) on wine duty and Matt Linklater taking care of your cocktail needs. And if that last name seems familiar it’s because he’s been slinging drinks at Bulletin Place until recently, and was our Hot Talent winner at the 2015 Time Out Sydney Bar Awards. Basically there’s nothing but good news for your tastebuds.
Linklater is keeping much of the new cocktail list under wraps until the venue opens in September, but he did clue us in on some of his more adventurous creations for the bar. “My background is using seasonal produce, but we won’t be having a daily changing menu, thank god. I want to try and eliminate our waste and also try and find one really cool ingredient and then build a drink around that. The Closed Loop Fizz revolves around this homemade potato maple syrup that you make by taking starchy water that potatoes have been boiling in, then you cut it with white and brown sugar and let it just sit in the cupboard. It basically turns into maple syrup. It’s delicious, and hey, it’s so cheap!” says Linklater. “We add rye whisky and oloroso sherry, top it off with just a little bit of a dark amber ale and instead of using egg white we’ll be using chickpea brine. It’s like vegan egg whites. The chickpeas from the brine we’ll then use for a staff meal or a little bar snack to go on the side,” he says.
For something at the total other end of the spectrum there will also be a spritzer called the Strawbedo that Linklater is very excited about. “It will be made using strawberries that have been resting in white sugar in the fridge that turn into a syrup. The strawberries are reduced to these little red nuggets. That will be mixed with just a touch of high quality white wine vinegar, just for a little bit of balance. It’s kinda like a shrub but I hate the word shrub because so many people do it badly. I’m calling it tangy strawberry and that will be slowed down with some Clare Valley Riesling and soda water and garnished with dehydrated strawberries and lemon peel.”
While you’ll be able to pop downstairs for a cocktail and bar snacks like freshly shucked oysters and “one bite wonders”, the bar will also be a handy spot for pre-drinks and digestifs after dinner.
Bouche on Bridge and the Cellar at Bouche are set to open in September 2016, at 6 Bridge St, Sydney 2000.