There’s something special about bars in lane ways and alleys, it seems that the difficulty in locating the bar is inversely proportional to the quality of the food & drinks served within. Lucky for me then, I got lost. Despite my best efforts I found myself standing in a crowd of yellow wheelie bins before I heard it…the familiar murmur, the clink of cutlery and bursts of laughter coming from a side alley. I made it!
As I rush inside to meet the early birds, the waitress plonks down a small saucer of olives. The menu itself is limited and changes day by day according to what seasonal produce the chef Tim Webber (ex Sean’s Panorama) can source, most of the dishes are light and refreshing, designed to pair well with their extensive wine list. Inside, the space itself is very small and split into two sections with a collection of metal stools arranged near the front window and a clutter of oranges, bread sticks and lilies lined along the bar. The interior & service are both warm and endearing, akin to gathering for nibbles at a friend’s place.
Burrawong duck’s liver pate with onions agro dolce $14 and extra Bread $2
First to arrive was the pate (who can say no to pate)? It’s taken many a pate for me to have developed a refined understanding of the perfect pate to bread ratio. None of this scraping-it-across-the-sourdough-like-a-smear-of-Vegemite business, the aim of the game is to heap it on as generously as possible. Having said that we were lucky to have already ordered more bread, so nothing was wasted.
Spanner crab bruschetta, fennel, chilli, parsley, lemon $14
The crab bruschetta was addictive, the crab meat was beautifully soft in contrast to the crunch of fresh fennel and fragrance of torn parsley.
Kingfish carpaccio, fresh horseradish, mint, new season olive oil $15
Kingfish & ocean trout are my favourites when it comes to raw fish, the mellow flavour and delicate sweetness of these fish seem more lady-like compared to the big flavours of salmon and tuna. So it’s no surprise that the standout was easily the carpaccio, accentuated by the greeness of the new season olive oil and the freshness of mint.
Pears baked with cinnamon, blood orange, Riesling and creme fraiche $7
Since we were sitting in front of the menu board, dessert had been beckoning us all night long so we side stepped common sense and placed our order. The lone baked pear arrived, our spoons slid easily into the soft cheeks, scraping away bits of creme fraiche and blood orange syrup along the way.
It’s unfortunate we missed out trying the buffalo mozzarella, served with a heap of new green beans, mint and olives as well as the white anchovies with fennel, but fortunately for us it’s the perfect excuse
to come back for another drink with Tilly.
Vibrant and warm this place definitely ticks the “must try” box. Worth coming
back to explore the evolving wine list and daily menu, just come early.
Love Tilly Devine // Sly wine bar
a. 91 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst
t. (02) 9326 9297