What does it take to open a new bar and restaurant during a global pandemic?
A young enthusiastic team with passion, a wealth of hospitality experience and a whole lot of faith.
Plus a clever name that pays homage to the social distancing era in which it was born helps too.
Let us introduce to you Sydney’s newest local watering hole (situated on the bustling corner of Bourke and Cleveland Street, Redfern) – Arms Length. And, of course, the team who braved it have had to go against all odds to make it happen; leader of the pack, Rebecca O’Shea (ex Rockpool Dining Group) and head chef Jeffrey Sue (previously trained under Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio at The Spit).
This modern Australian bar and restaurant is just what we needed: a new slice of foodie paradise to quench our thirst for Sydney openings, sensational bites and a heavenly drink or two. Sleek and splashed in native greens and neutral tones, the minimalist decor sets the perfect backdrop for sensational share plates and zingy cocktails. And, we can’t forget the gold-clad bar.
The menu has been expertly designed to share, with a mix of small plates and curated substantials for when you’re a little more than peckish. Already a local favourite, you can’t go past the White Anchovy Crostini with white bean puree and fresh dill ($6ea), followed by the Chicken Liver Pate served with onion jam, and cornichons ($18) – the perfect pairing for a wine wind-down. But the real magic is with the Potato Gnocchi ($26), because winter calls for winter warmers. Chef Sue hand rolls these little cloud-like gems each morning and serves them smothered in a decadently rich pork ragu and pangrattato. They’re a must.
And now back to that shiny gold bar, filled with local tipples like BRIX Distillery Gold Rum and Unico Zelo’s Nero d’avola. Our pick is the cocktail master’s [Rhys Samuel Bailey] Mezcal Old Fashioned ($20). Its smokey, rich and everything you need on a cold and bitter night.
Better yet, Arms Length offers a fabulous happy hour daily from 4pm to 6pm, with $6 tap beer schooners and $6 house wines.
648 Bourke St Redfern, NSW 2016
Open weekdays from 12pm till late, and weekends 11am till late
Looking for other trendy Sydney spots to try? For your Taco Tuesday fix you can’t go past Carbòn in beautiful Bondi. Or if you’re after something a little more intimate, be sure to head to Sydney CBD’s New York-inspired speakeasy, Employees Only.