Vivid Sydney Food and Drink04 Jun 2019
Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail before wandering along the Light Walk or you’re looking for dinner after seeing a Vivid Ideas talk, there are plenty of restaurants and bars in the Vivid Sydney precincts offering dishes and drinks inspired by the festival lights. Here’s where to find them.
1. As you’re making your way along the Light Walk in the Royal Botanic Garden, you’ll come across the old school Fisherman’s Wharf Pop-Up Bar. Start with an H.M.A.S Royal Archie – a shimmering blue cocktail of Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin, pineapple and macadamia – or the Harbour Rose with Archie Rose Original Vodka, watermelon citrus and pink lustre. Hungry? Golden fish and beer-battered chips with tangy tartare, fish chowder served in a bread bowl and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese are some of the snacks on offer. Finish with a pineapple fritter with cinnamon ice cream.
2. Newtown’s dive bar, The Midnight Special, is behind Spellbound, the Vivid Live bar pop-up at the Sydney Opera House. Part still life art installation, part new wave punk homage, you can snack on brioche sliders with confit duck rillettes and truffle croque monsieurs on long tables decorated with illuminated fruit, bouquets in urns and skulls. Drinks on offer include a Hanging Garden Cocktail with Blanco Tequila and mango-jalapeno shrub, which will glow under the pink neon lights.
3. Barangaroo’s lush rooftop bar, Untied, will be offering Full of Stars – their version of s’mores with activated charcoal graham crackers, dark chocolate and galaxy marshmallows. A matching cocktail called Will I Dream? has Four Pillars Dry Gin Regal Rogue Wild Rose Vermouth, Aperol and activated charcoal – the edible flowers on top look like bright lights against a dark sky.
4. There are few better spots to see the lights of the harbour than Hacienda Sydney at Circular Quay. To celebrate Vivid Sydney, they have a menu of Tropical Glow cocktails – the Rojo Glow with flavours of Stolichnaya vanilla, Chambord, pineapple; the Amarillo Glow with Ketel One vodka, Joseph Catron and mango liqueur; and the Verde Flow with Bulleit Bourbon, Appleton Estate rum, Midori, apple juice and more. Enjoy their Cuban-inspired bar food before heading out into the night.
5. Brewery and restaurant Endeavour Tap Rooms in The Rocks is located in the heart of the Vivid Sydney action. The special Unicone dessert combines raspberry ice cream, home-made rainbow meringue, Chantilly cream and hundreds and thousands topped with fairy floss. Make sure to try one of their in-house brewed special beers, too.
6. If you’re exploring Vivid Light at the Chatswood precinct, there are a number of restaurants and takeaway outlets offering specials in Chatswood Mall and down Archer Street. Celsius Desserts are serving Dragon’s Breath – cereal dipped in liquid nitrogen so you can ‘breathe fire’, enjoy rainbow cocktails at Yamaei and glow-in-the-dark fairy floss at The Original Fairy Floss Company.
7. Looking for somewhere to go on date night? Book a spot at The Chroma Dinner at Mode Kitchen & Bar. Guests will enjoy four courses with matching cocktails inspired by a different colour. An example of a dish is Hiramasa kingfish, green ants, chlorophyll and stracciatella with a Green Savanna Jelly cocktail. With virtual reality as well as sight, smell and sound incorporated into the experience, this night of food, art and technology will certainly be a conversation starter. Bookings essential.
8.O Bar and Dining is situated on level 47 in Australia Square, so has one of the best views in the city of Vivid Light on Sydney Harbour. During Vivid Sydney, admire the view and enjoy a glowing cocktail, the Scarlett Glohansson, made with lemon peel-infused Four Pillars gin, limoncello, raspberry and rosemary. Order two in the bar and you’ll receive a complimentary share plate.
9. One of Barangaroo’s top restaurants, 12-Micron, is collaborating with Perrier-Jouët to transform the private dining room and bar to create an immersive culinary experience. Decked out in a light installation, guests will dine in the dark and enjoy five courses with matched Perrier-Jouet Champagne. Bookings required.
10. Vermouth bar and restaurant Banksii at Barangaroo is bringing back its illuminated fairy floss and spritz cart with three new cocktails. Try the Riserva Sangria, an aromatic Martini and the Banksii Blue, then stay for a Mediterranean dinner.
11. At Lotus Barangaroo, Australian produce is married with Chinese recipes; they are known for their excellent seafood dishes and dumplings. During Vivid Sydney they will serve two specials: the pretty seafood rainbow dumplings and vegetarian goddess dumplings. There’s also a Bright Surprise dessert including a cherry mousse and chocolate sponge.
12. Make sure to pop by Darling Square at Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney – there you’ll find Blacklight, a mysterious black cube with glowing neon panels. Inside is an illuminated pop-up dessert bar, created by agencies Lotti & Smith and Belle Laide Events, serving four different glow-in-the-dark desserts every night, curated by Messina. You’ll be able to try Bubble Mimi’s glowing bubble tea using Messina products and glowing pearls and Edition Coffee Roasters ice cream sandwiches with miso caramel, Messina coffee gelato and dark chocolate cookies (and mochas to warm you up). Gelato Messina is also giving its Dr Evil Magic Mushroom cake a makeover in a single serve size and will be dishing out a delicious three-layer Dulce de Lighted with milk sponge and cream with glow-in-the-dark strawberry and roasted cinnamon anglaise.
13. Another rainbow dumpling will be served during Vivid Sydney – this time from Din Tai Fung. The Chinese restaurant will be making a giant, colourful version of its famous xiao long bao with the same pork and seafood filling. It comes with a straw to help you manage the delicious broth inside. It will be available across all restaurants.
14. Grain Bar, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel is the ideal spot to stop for a drink on your way to Vivid Sydney. A line-up of cocktails inspired by Vivid Sydney will be on offer – Harbour Breeze, with Belvedere Vodka, coco lopez, lime, pineapple, coconut cream and sprinkles; Sydney Sunset with Belvedere Vodka, mango puree, lemon, egg whites and fairy floss; and Vivid Love with Belvedere Vodka, Hayman sloe gin, lemon, egg white, raspberry and marshmallows.
15. American Express Lounge, See some of the best sights right from the comfort of the incredible AMEX Card Member Lounge! Experience the full spectrum of hues and colours with panoramic views, whilst enjoying a drink or a bite to eat! Open from 5.30pm-10.30pm, until 15 June, Cruise Bar Rooftop, Level 3 OPT in The Rocks. Not a card member? Join us from 8pm onwards to experience the AMEX Lounge. #VividAmex.