Where: First floor 10 - 14 Bulletin Place Circular Quay 2000
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 4pm - 12am; Sat 6pm - 12am
Unassumingly tucked away in Bulletin Place is, you guessed it folks, Bulletin Place. Venture through an unmarked entrance, up a stairwell and find the shiny glass door. Enter the teeny tiny space and you've arrived. Welcome my friends, to Sydney's latest inner-city boozing hotspot.
Bulletin Place is a prodigious example of in-the-know barman strutting their stuff. Owners Adi Ruiz, Tim Philips, and Robb Sloan have created what I am deeming as our city's best new small bar. Founded on a philosophy of treating guests as they would friends in their own living rooms, don't be surprised when ordering your introductory tipple means cosying up next your waiter and having a good old chinwag. Nice.
With most of its handiwork done by the guys themselves, Bulletin engulfs us in an inner-city loft that actually, unlike the area's tourist-dominated pubs, makes us feel at home. The space is dimly lit by single-bulb fixtures shedding a warm haze over exposed brick, bric-a-brac vintage-style furniture, and quirky mural art. Perch at the bar for a one-on-one with Philips himself or get in early to score a banquette space along the bar's windowed-side for the ultimate people watching experience. In short, you could almost blush at how warm and fuzzy this place makes you feel.
And let's be honest, it's really Philips' cocktail expertise that makes this place stand out. Scribbled across a sheet of butcher's paper that hangs behind the bar will be any given evening's cocktail selection, inspired by whatever produce is freshest at the time. We went for the Apricot Swizzle (Applejack, fresh apricot, and lime), Black Betty (crushed Muscat grapes with Martini Rosso and gin) and the Grapefruit Collins (Ruby Red vodka, lemon, with soda), each $19.
Wine wise, we've something of a Timbah and Gerald's Bar situation going on — the boys will open two whites and two reds at any one time. This is to ensure only the freshest of wines are available by the glass. Try the Mesh Riesling from South Australia ($12 glass/$60 bottle) for a lemon and grapefruit citric-fuelled drop with a hint of spice. Alternatively, you can't go wrong with bottle of the 2010 Catena Malbec ($10 glass/$50 bottle).
Lest I forget to mention that Bulletin also offers a limited selection of tapas imported from Tapavino next door. Take note though, because when I say limited I actually mean very limited. Tamari almonds ($5), hummus and crostini ($8), and pork terrine and crostini ($12) is it.
Bulletin Place is the stuff of my dreams. With booze hitting the mark and friendly service delivered in a hotted-up stockroom-type setting, it seems I may be frequenting this place for a while to come. Go on, get in on it, you know you want to.
By Lisa Omagari
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