A traveller’s purlieu and a foodie’s dream, Jackalberry is a perfectly placed oasis in the heart of the Sydney CBD. The recently opened all-day cocktail bar has won my heart, and for good reason.
When I was first invited to check out Jackalberry, I did my research about this new haunt. All the reviews raved about this travel-themed bar at the Hyatt Regency Sydney and as an avid traveller myself, I was intrigued.
So, on Saturday night, my partner Alex and I headed into the city to check out Jackleberry for our weekly date night. The heritage facade of the building gives little away about what’s inside, a prelude to the bar’s mysterious charisma. Walking in, there was an instant ambiance given off by the mellow lighting, upbeat background music and clean modern decor. Leafy greenery, patterned wallpaper and a travel-inspired collection of art inject personality into the space. It was early evening when we arrived but the room had a quiet buzz to it; a few couples sat at the bar, a group of friends lounged in a velvet booth over a meal, and a glamorous group of people dressed in suits and ball gowns drank cocktails by the window.
It’s easy to see that the decor is a reflection of Jackalberry’s worldly menu. The first two pages feature their signature cocktails, each one inspired by a different corner of the globe. I started my evening with a taste of Greece and ordered “The Zorba”. Made of Metaxa, Lime, Aperol and Rhubarb, the cocktail was a deliciously bitter taste of the Mediterranean and it took me longingly back to my recent holiday in Europe. Alex opted to go to Japan with the citrusy “Tea Time”, made of homemade black sesame syrup.
The charismatic mixologist behind the bar for the evening, Remy, left us both very impressed with his cocktail slinging skills. Whilst he was making our drinks, Remy explained that he wanted to make each and every cocktail somehow individual to everyone.
“What cocktail you order depends on your mood…for example, bitter is really good because it opens up your palette. When I created this cocktail list, I wanted to create something with different flavours for everyone – one dry, one bitter, one sweet, one smokey. Every person is unique and I need to do something special for everyone – it doesn’t matter if you order the same cocktail because maybe it’s the garnish that is different, or the glass will change.“
With the menu changing seasonally, Remy said that the next cocktail list will be even more complex and customers can look forward to another exciting global palette.
Because cocktails and other tantalizing drinks occupy the entirety of the menu, there is only a single page dedicated to food. Mirroring the diversity of the cocktails, each dish explores a different global cuisine; from the potato dumplings of Mumbai, India, to the fresh burrata from Andira, Southern Italy.
We ordered four dishes, starting with the Persian style lamb kofta from Iran. The lamb was great but the spinach borani yoghurt was the definite hero of the dish. The tempura prawns from Nagaski, Japan were Alex’s favourite dish of the night, and he even went as far to say they were the best tempura prawns he’d ever eaten. My favourite was the pan-fried pork buns from Shanghai – I only wish there was more of that delicious pork filling.
The final dish for the evening was the Argentinian beef empanadas; hot, crunchy and flavoursome. We also shared a final cocktail, cleansing our palettes with “The Wormwood” from Norway, Scandinavia. It was sour in all the right ways and a delicious end to the night.
Whilst we didn’t order any, Jackalberry also had an impressive array of wine, beer and spirits for those who prefer to order less complicated drinks. The food portion sizes were small but with a few plates to share, the tapas-style menu makes Jackalberry the ideal spot for a delicious light bite.
It seems Jackalberry is the place to be whether you’re seeking a boujee stop for a quick drink, a place to start a culinary journey or an unsuspecting spot for a cute date night.
Hyatt Regency Sydney
161 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
+61 02 8099 1234
Monday to Friday 7am – 11pm
Saturday 3pm – 11pm