Sydney's first vermouth bar and bistro is a celebration of all things botanical
Sir Joseph Banks was a British naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences, and accompanied James Cook on his first great voyage to Australia. It’s only fitting then that Sydney’s newest bistro and bar, fundamentally focussed on all things botanical, is named in his honour.
Banksii is the creation of husband and wife duo Hamish Ingham and Rebecca Lines, of Surry Hills’ Bar H fame.
Open for lunch and dinner, there’s a modern Mediterranean influence on the BanksiiI menu, and an unmistakable celebration of botanicals: vegetable crudité with sesame yoghurt and mountain leaf oil; and roast spatchcock, botanicals, fried bread and agro dolce are sample of what’s on offer. A banksia flower trifle with banksia syrup, sweet vermouth, rosella jelly and burnt vanilla custard is a lovely finish to any meal.
On the bar side, it’s really about one thing only - vermouth. Lines has assembled a collection of over 40 of the world’s most desirable specimens, to be served straight or in cocktails, with a bespoke vermouth from Maidenii to be poured on tap exclusively.
“Vermouth has an exceptionally long history,” says Lines, “and by the 17th Century was incredibly popular in Europe and England as an aperitif. We’ll be serving it straight, so people can discover how wonderfully complex and nuanced it can be, but also in cocktails that everyone knows and loves, like martinis and negronis, with our modern twist.”
The interior design is by acclaimed hospitality specialists Luchetti Krelle (ACME and Momofuku Seiobo). It’s a contemporary homage to history and old-world elegance, gently pouring the unique natural light of the harbour into the elegant interior spaces.
Sir Joseph would be proud.
Banksii is now open on Wulugul Walk, 7 days a week.