08 January 2010

Blu Bar on 36: Cocktails with a Harbour View, The Rocks (4 Jan 2010)

Shangri-la Hotel
Level 36, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks NSW 2000

Anyone for a $10,000 Martini?

After a short break from my birthday treat of seeing the movie Avatar in 3D at Hoyts La Premiere I was taken to the Blu Bar on 36 for a pre dinner birthday cocktail which has amazing views over Sydney Harbour and beyond. If your timing is right you might be lucky enough to score a table near the window but these seem to be as rare as hens teeth. I order the Sweet Lie because I love Bombay Sapphire Gin and Lychee Liqueur but I actually preferred the taste of the Italian Job, possibly because of the Campari and ruby red grapefruit which work really well together. Even though this place might have some of the best bar views in town I found the lounge area looking a bit dated and reminded me a bit of a waiting area in an airport or hotel lobby. I've actually found Business and First Class airport lounges more luxurious and cosy than this bar — but I guess it's the view that brings everyone here. The service was good and down-to-earth which made me feel relaxed and welcomed.

Does anyone else check out the menus to spot the most expensive drinks? How about a bottle of 1966 Dom Pérignon for $4966 or a Martini On The Rock for $10,000! I thought I remembered reading about this in SMH Good Living. I wonder how many of these martinis they've sold or perhaps it's just a marketing gimmick? Besides what if you accidently drank the diamond because you were so drunk in buying it in the first place :-)

PROS: View, Interesting cocktail menu
CONS: Not getting a seat near window
MUST TRY: Italian Job

Sweet Lie: Bombay Sapphire, Lychee Liqueur, elderflower and a touch of angostura bitters $20; Italian Job: Lemoncello, Campari shaken with lime, passionfruit. Served tall with ruby red grapefruit and crushed ice $20

Complimentary bar nibbles

Martini On The Rock $10,000

1966 Dom Pérignon $4966

Lounge seating

View of Sydney Harbour Bridge


Anonymous said...

Hi Simon, Happy birthday again. Would really not wish to rain on your parade, but I must say I am not fond of hotel bars in general. Even if they come with views such as blu's. Well, the 33rd floor ClubIntercontinental is an exception, I guess. But that's a different scenario altogether. And Astral Bar, to be fair. Generally, they're somewhat more expensive than 'normal' bars and not always better where their drinks are concerned. There are always exceptions (my theory is fast crumbling!) - like Zeta Bar. If I have to nominate a bar with a view, I'd go with The Summit. Then again, if everyone likes the same bars that I frequent we'll have a problem trying to get in all at once! Gobsmack'd

joey@FoodiePop said...

That's why I don't drink! $5000-$10000 for alcohol is beyond my limited budget! LOL

Love the view from this place. Must visit for a meal one day at the restaurant.

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi Gobsmack'd, i love your honesty :-) thanks for the happy birthday wishes. i'd have to agree i'm generally not a fan of hotel bars for similiar reasons, ie expensive. Also can attract crowds which can be pretentious but that can be most bars anyway. At least they're usually not overly crowded due to probably being expensive I guess. I like Orbit Lounge Bar (Summit) too which has more area for better views of city and rotates and is much more nicer in decor.

hi joey, does this mean if you drank you'd be ordering the $10K Martini hehe My next review is the restaurant so stay tuned :-)

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