Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grasshopper Bar, CBD

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a nana. I don't really like pubs (too noisy), I don't drink very often (I'm a one pot screamer tho I do like cocktails), I don't drink coffee after midday, I like to be in bed by 9.30pm and I NEVER go out on a Monday night...or a Tuesday night if I can help it. Call me boring, but the main reason for my nana-ish traits is my insomnia. I have incredible trouble sleeping so I figure all of the above might help me enter the land of nod...hopefully.

So what would entice me out to a bar...on a Tuesday night...where I got home at nearly 10pm?

A blogger catch up of course! The lovely Mel had taken pity on fellow blogger Crystal and I and our photographic woes when it came low lighting. We all agreed to meet up in a dark restaurant, cameras in tow and show Mel our the worst of our photographic abilities.  After a few emails back and forth we settled on Grasshopper Bar hoping it be darker than dark.  Grasshopper is also a place that intrigued me as it is tucked down a little laneway off George Street.  A piece of Melbourne's laneway chic right here in my beloved Sydney.

Crystal and I arrived a bit early so we took a seat downstairs in the REALLY DARK bar and ordered a drink each (soda water for me - it IS Tuesday night after all). We were both as pleased as punch to see our drinks served in jam jars and beakers.  We whipped out our cameras and snapped away - fuzzy, blurry, dark and out of focus. Weeee - Mel has her work cut out for her tonight I tell you! 

When Mel arrives we head upstairs to the cutter than cute "eating room". The room is decked out with wooden table, chairs and wooden floorboards give the restaurant a warm tone. There are interesting nic-nacs dotted throughout the room - the collection of gnomes at the staircase wins all our hearts.  The upstairs room is a bit lighter than the downstairs bar so we don't have quite as much trouble with the cameras as I'd hoped for...damn!

At the table next to ours are a group of "real nanas" and I'm sad to say the group of 70 years olds at the adjoining were still happily dining away as we left for the night.

We decide to order a few small plates to share as this seemed the most economical way to dine. Mains were a bit more pricey than I was expecting and we were trying not to spend to much money.  Our small dishes were really tasty, but we probably could've done with more food. The girls went for a Congee run afterwards and I hit the Macca's drive through on the way home.

From the specials board we order Duck Terrine with Onion Confit ($19.00).  The terrine was lovely - smooth tasting and very morish.  The bread was nicely charred - but tasted a little like someone had gone made with a blowtorch in the kitchen. 

Next we have a plate of Crisp Chicken, Roast Garlic And Tarragon ($15.00).  This was a great dish - tender strips of chicken lightly coated and deep-fried. The roast garlic and tarragon dipping sauce was tasty too.

The Roast Scallops with Jerusalem Artichokes ($19.00) was a big hit with all of us - and three scallops on the plate means we have a scallop each. The scallops sit atop a buttery sauce - delicious! The Jerusalem Artichoke is pureed and a highlight of the dish - the puree has a sweet, nutty flavour.

I really enjoyed the creamy and silky smooth Smoked Salmon and Green Peppercorn Pate ($14.00).  The saltiness of the crispy olive bread was a nice counterbalance to the creamy pate. It is a toss up between this dish and the crispy chicken strips as to which was my favourite plate of the night.

Last dish of the night is Octopus, Prosciutto and Saffron ($19.00) - what a pretty dish this was. I wish my picture did it more justice (and that there were three quail egg halves to go around - dissecting a quail egg into even Steven pieces is really hard)!  The combination of prosciutto and little croutons gave the dish quite a salty hit, but the quail egg and soft octopus offset this somewhat.

Ooops - nearly forgot the Seasonal Vegetables ($10.00) - a plate of broccolini drizzled in a lovely buttery sauce.

Grasshopper Bar is a great space in the city - if more bars become like this I could possibly head out more often on a Tuesday night - not every Tuesday night mind you - a nana would NEVER do that!

These guys will protect you on your visit to the loo!

Grasshopper is at 1 Temperance Lane, Sydney (the entrance to the lane way is right next to RM Williams). Phone them on 9947 9025.

Grasshopper on Urbanspoon


  1. Love how the drinks come in jam jars - so cute!

  2. Re." The girls went for a Congee run afterwards and I hit the Macca's drive through on the way home."

    That is so sad !!!

    The trick is to fill your handbag with nibbles before you go. Just on knock off time from work run into the work tea room and go to work with your kitchen knife and chop up some smallgoods, cheese, etc. Once you have prepared about 2kg empty all this into your handbag and add some olives and salad dressing and shake everything up. This way when you visit a "smarty pants" establishment you can graze on the contents of your handbag. Throw some on the plate when they are not looking. Before you enter a "fancy pants" place bring along a cheap bottle of grog in a brown paper bag and drink this quickly before you enter the premises. I promise you, you will save one quarter on the food & drink bill and you still get to enjoy the "fancy pants" atmosphere of the place. Trust me when I was a young guy on the dole I had no choice but to do this if I wanted to have a good night on the town. If other revellers are concerned about you grazing from your handbag tell them you work in the catering business and your boss lets you take home what's not consumed on the day.

  3. Wow! You sleep by 9:30 every night???
    Love the name of this place- and it looks pretty interesting too! The scallops look delicious!

  4. Its kind of like Pop up bar meets Melbourne bar. I've heard good things about this place. Will have to give it a go. I like that there's bathroom protection - thats important!

  5. gnomes and coctails in beakers. we need to drink together woman!

  6. i'm a huge nana as well! love the photos- i try to go there once but it was way too packed. looks like tuesday it's not too crazy?

  7. I took my friend here during his lunch break and he loved the chicken strips. I had the steak tartare and thought it was good too. Hard place to find though. LOL

  8. Wow, that crisp chicken looks addictive, and I love the jam jars and the gnomes :)

  9. I loved their pop up restaurant, 7 Metre Bar.. yet to visit this place though.. every time I try to, it's packed!!

  10. OH nice! Octopus, Prosciutto and Saffron sound amazingly delicious! Getting hungry now!


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