The Langham, Sydney launches intimate city bar experience: The Observatory Bar
Known globally for its high-end bars, including the award-winning Artesian at The Langham, London, the hotel group adds another edition to its world-famous bar list, this time in the Harbour City, writes Nicola McClean.
Friday 12 October 2018 saw the official launch of the Observatory Bar at The Langham, Sydney and the introduction of a cocktail menu curated by celebrated mixologist David Green to allow guests to discover a choice of rare beverages.
Situated across the road from the Sydney Observatory, The Langham, Sydney’s new bar takes guests on a culinary journey of discovery, much like the Sydney Observatory does for its visitors gazing up in space. The bar also takes on the hotel’s former name of Observatory Hotel , nodding at the history between Sydney Observatory and the now Langham.
Green says, “At Observatory Bar, I wanted to create an exclusive menu and experience that offers our guests the chance to try hard-to-find spirits, rare whiskies and gins, without having to leave Sydney.” The rarest spirit the Observatory Bar currently has on offer is a 21-year-old Scotch whisky from Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series, valued at over AU$300.
Highlights from the cocktail menu
Taking inspiration from industrial technology, modern gastronomy and a touch of fantasy, Green’s cocktail menu consists of concoctions with ‘interactive’ elements (such as rock oyster garnish), combined with unusual Australian ingredients that take your tastebuds on a journey of discovery.
Start with the Green Ant Martini, a must-try consisting of Australian Green Ant Gin, saltbush, lemon myrtle aromatics and green ants. For guests seeking a refreshing cocktail, Neap Tide – homemade finger lime syrup, Ironbark distillery wattleseed gin, a dash of Australian sparkling wine and paperbark smoke, all garnished with Sydney rock oyster – will be sure to awaken the senses. The Neap Tide is a prime example of Observatory Bar’s focus on local ingredients by integrating Australian flora and fauna into the cocktail.
Small dishes, big flavours
The designed-to-share food menu reinvents classic ‘bar snacks’ and perfectly complements the cocktail menu. The Langham, Sydney’s executive chef, Dave Whitting, designed the menu to meet the needs of all guests. Whether stopping by for a quick drink complemented by a few dishes such as mini wagyu tacos, bug tail brioche roll or shallot and chive doughnuts topped with sour cream and caviar, or settling in for the evening and discovering the entire menu, the Observatory Bar can be adapted to suit each guest and every occasion.
A taste of rarity
The bar also stocks one of Sydney’s largest collections of gin and whisky/ey, and an extensive list of wines. Observatory Bar sommelier, Julia Zhu, curated a wine list consisting of some of the rarest and most intriguing wines from around the world. A highlight is the Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque 2004 with a striking, curved bottle by Japanese glass sculptor Ritsue Mishima, which is sold out worldwide and only served at Observatory Bar. For oenophiles, vintage pours by the glass are also available, including Dom Pérignon 2009 for $160 a glass.
After taking a cocktail from the marble bar top, guests can recline in the velvet lounge chairs, indulging in the must-try kingfish collar with sansho pepper, lime and aioli, while enjoying the overhead modern jazz music that fills the intimate space. With a focus on bringing the best of the world to the sophisticated atmosphere of The Langham, Sydney, the Observatory Bar provides guests with an exclusive escape in buzzing Sydney, which is almost as rare to find as that bottle of Perrier-Jouët.
ALL IMAGES © THE LANGHAM SYDNEY