The Rocks is not always rocking. If you’re not at the Argyle or a wedding in the MCA, there’s often not a lot on after dark down at this northern part of town – especially if you’re after a spot to settle in for a few drinks and dinner.
Well, that’s all set to change. The Push Bar is the new drinking and dining den on the ground floor of the Russell Hotel and it’s a warm and very welcome addition to one of the oldest part of the city.
The Push Bar stays true to its foundations – the low lit, split level space is filled with ye olde knick knacks like scrolls and glass tumblers that are all so chic at the moment. We love the old prints on the walls that show the city pre-mass habitation – think horses and the half-finished Harbour Bridge. The copper piping running around the bar area is pretty spiffy and gives the space a nice vintage vibe.
Reserve a table up the back, where metal lamps light up booths designed just for two, or maybe three if you care to squeeze into the leather seats.
You’ll want to get comfy because reading the cocktail menu will be the best history lesson yet. Bar manager Gem Williamson has taken the past and stirred it into something special. Cocktails are named after the young gangs that used to roam around in the 1800s.
The Larrikin (named after the rascals roaming the streets) is made with Jack Daniels and ginger ale, the Bare Knuckle Espresso (the fights were bare knuckle) has quite the caffeine kick and Pamalove (ladies, ladies, ladies) is pink and girly with a great lychee base.
If you’re hungry, the hearty meals are a blend of British Pub, American bar and classic Aussie flavours. There’s Scotch Egg and Pork Pies, nachos and pulled pork sandwiches, and of course fish and chips and schnitzel too.
Dessert is where the chefs are getting creative – a bread and butter pudding Jaffle is stuffed with dark chocolate sauce and paired with salted caramel ice cream and the Anzac biscuit-crumbed, macadamia ice cream drizzled with rum butter sauce is as good as it sounds. This is as tasty as being a tourist will ever get.
The Push Bar
143 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
(02) 9241 2999