Botanicals in wines, botanicals in food, botanicals in cocktails – that’s just some of what you can expect from Banksii, Barangaroo’s newest resident from award-winning duo-sommelier duo Hamish Ingham and Rebecca Lines, best known as the masterminds behind treasured inner-city restaurant Bar H. Now open for lunch and dinner every day of the week, the vermouth inspired bar and bistro, that looks like a vibrant greenhouse thanks to smart design from Luchetti Krelle, is making a strong case for aromatic, fortified wine otherwise known as vermouth, flavours fueled by an array of botanicals.
The light, share-styled dining option here will present Sydneysiders and visitors with dishes like grilled prawns served with curry leaf butter and pickled turmeric, a signature chicken pate with muntrie jam and toast, a full-flavoured kangaroo carpaccio with pickled radish and nasturtium, and that’s just the beginning. Moving onto larger plates will bring creative fare like a botanicals and cheese pie, a serving of mussels that has been cooked in white vermouth with green olives and nettle butter, and glazed roasted half duck with red vermouth soaked native plums. Where Bar H delves into creative Asian fusion, Banksii seems to be going for modern Australian-Mediterranean.
“I’ve had a great time incorporating botanicals in new dishes and I’m really happy with the menu we have developed”, said Chef Ingham. “We have a lot of ingredients on the menu that people may not have heard of that we want to showcase in an exciting and accessible way”.
Seeing as vermouth is the cornerstone of the venue, the drinks list gets real interesting with over forty fortified wines ready to be served straight, with tonic, or in cocktails. Some wines will also feature on tap, in addition to a 100 bin wine list that takes from both Australia and the Mediterranean.
Lines, who handles the drinks, explains “while we have a selection of vermouth cocktails on offer, we want to encourage people to try it as it has been traditionally served – over ice or tall with tonic. The drinks list comes with our suggestions of how best to enjoy each so people don’t feel intimated to try something new”. There’s even a vermouth exclusive to Banksii on the list, made in collaboration with Maidenii Vermouth.
Address: 33 Barangaroo avenue, Barangaroo South
Contact: (02) 8072 7037
Hours: Sun-Thurs 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm