Australian hospitality group, The Point, will open the doors to the first phase of their historic Sydney CBD’s historic building, Shell House on Thursday 14th October, revealing The Menzies Bar on the ground floor. The Menzies will open Monday to Saturday, from 12pm-2am.
Paying homage to the legendary Menzies Hotel, The Menzies Bar is a true labour of love, where obsession with history, hospitality and good times are woven together to deliver a bar legitimately unique to the Sydney CBD. Wrapping the bustling corner of Carrington and Margaret Street, the European inspired bar and bistro will showcase a menu of snacks, smaller and larger plates, along with a show stopping cocktail selection and a thumping wine list, available all day and late into the night.
“We are all so excited to be opening our first Bar within the iconic Shell House. Our team has worked so hard throughout the lock down to deliver what we hope will become a bustling ground floor bar and bistro in the CBD – a centre of gravity for the city. A meeting place. Simple, reliable, consistent, and fun. We want the Menzies to be an essential part of life in the city. Raising a glass to the return of hospitality in this new space will be so good!”
Brett Robinson, CEO & Restaurateur
Executive Chef, Joel Bickford and his team have worked to deliver a bistro style menu, inspired by the grand European bistros. Anchoring classic European dining with a contemporary edge, the menu comprises shared and large plates, from lunch to dinner, snacks and supper.
Joel says, “This is a hugely exciting time for Sydney and I’m so thrilled to be able to launch the first phase of Shell House with The Menzies Bar team when the city comes back to life. We’ve sourced beautiful produce to incorporate into stunning dishes across the bistro menu. The menu showcases exciting and interesting dishes, as well as bistro classics, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
Smaller Plates feature Spanner Crab Crumpets with Sweet Corn and Lardo; Chicken Liver Eclairs with Trout Roe & Amaro Jelly; and Swordfish Crudo with Pink Grapefruit, Yarra Valley Salmon Roe and EVOO, a Slow Ferment Sourdough Toastie with Fontina, Black Pig Ham & Pickles, a classic Wagyu Beef Burger. Bistro classics include La Stella burrata; fritto misto- prawns, ling and calamari; and Stone Axe full blood Wagyu Bresaola.
Larger plates hero locally sourced produce including Coral Trout with Tropea Onion, Caponata and Olive Mascarpone; as well as line caught Spiced Fried Kingfish Collar, and served with Burnt Lemon and Green Sauce. There’s Vongole with Fermented Chilli Linguine, Nduja and Basil, Roasted Spatchcock, a Bistecchina (200gm) and a Boneless Ribeye (400gm).
The Menzies Bar embraces new world and classic wines across it’s extensive list. Wine Director, Shun Eto has a passion for progressive classics. With a belief that wines are made in the vineyard, rather than the winery, and as such, The Menzies Bar will lean towards supporting family based producers that have an emphasis on organic, biodynamic, sustainable viticulture and minimal intervention in the winery to create wines of passion, emotion and character, that highlight terroir rather than reflect winemaker’s influence.
Shun says, “It’s an absolute honor to take what the team started at The Dolphin Hotel and bring it to the city! Writing a wine list in lockdown has been the hardest task I have ever completed in my hospo career, however it gave me time to think and put all my heart into writing the best list I can for our guests once we open.”
“The Menzies Bar embraces the new post-pandemic world with love and affection. We wrote a wine list that pushes boundaries for Sydney yet is familiar and ultimately absolutely delicious.”
The Menzies Bar cocktail selection is direct and focussed on fun. Our resident cocktail whisperer Josh Reynolds (Dolphin Hotel, Scout) has put together a long, vibrant and truly smashable cocktail list. The table is set for a best in class cocktail program that will develop and grow through Shell House as the upper levels open. Josh is obsessed with both process and product and this list delivers in spades.
Step up to the signature ‘In-Cider Trading’ – scotch, coffee, fig, cider caramel and smoked honey, or take the ‘Gunslinger Spritz’ – Bianco Vermouth, Gunpowder Tea, Yuzu, Jalapeno, Orange, Cucumber, Sparkling Wine for a spin. Notably, the ‘Sicilian Margarita’ – tequila, limoncello, sichuan, fresh lemon, a crowd favourite, is making the trip from the Surry Hills Dolphin Hotel list to Shell House.
Martini Hour at Menzies serves as a place to celebrate the end of day, or begin your evening in mode savoir-faire. Everyday between 4pm and 6pm Martinis stirred through shards cut from huge countertop ice blocks to celebrate these golden hours. Paired daily with a limited run of fresh lobster rolls, Martini Hour at Menzies Bar returns a sense of daily ritual to the heart of the Sydney CBD.
ART + DESIGN
The restoration and renovation process of Shell House and the The Menzies bar is in collaboration with Interior Stylist Anna Hewett and Woods Bagot Architects. The space combines heritage with European grandeur. Cast windows clad the perimeter between Carrington and Margaret street and fills the space with light. It features a sleek blackened steel bar, an overhead bar hamper that holds 1300 spirit bottles (a collective weight of 2.5 tonnes), a marble fireplace and mosaic tumbled marble floors which are complimented with soft furnishings including grape leather booths that span the length of the room.
Known for his rhythmic compositions that engage colour, abstract shapes, and murals, Sydney-local Mikey Freedom was commissioned to design works throughout the space as the “artist in residence” for Shell House. Freedom’s work can be found throughout the walls and framework, as well as creating bespoke tiles, tables and steel sculptures. The inspiration for the graphics came from the building’s rich history and materiality.
Where: Menzies Bar, Shell House, 37 Margaret St Sydney 2010 (Entry via 37 Margaret Street)
When: Opening midday Thursday October, 14th 2021
How: Menzies Bar reservations now open via www.shellhouse.com.au
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 2am.