Monday, November 28, 2011


As someone who loves to check out new bars, Assembly was a must visit on my list. Opened its doors last Friday, this new bar, somewhat hidden in Regent Place in Town Hall, is one cool place to visit.

While it has a very industrial look and feel to it, exposed pipes, minimalistic furniture, concrete floor and walls; it also feels very homely like a New York styled loft. I can see myself relaxing on one of the couches with a drink or two for hours on end, actually, that's what I did tonight.

There is also an outdoor artificial garden where you can sit and enjoy your food and drink. The picket fence, huge white umbrella, green grass and a wall covered with plants will make you feel like you are in someone's backyard.

Whether you are sitting outside in the garden or found a comfy couch inside, clipboard menus are within reach everywhere. The cocktail list is impressive. Be it vodka, bourbon, rum, whiskey, gin or something else, name your pleasure and there will be a cocktail to suit. Wine and beer are also on offer, but my love for cocktails tend to steer me away from the wine/beer list.

There are many classic cocktails such as Dark "n" Stormy (Gosling Black Seal Rum + lime squeeze + Angostura bitters + ginger beer + lime & mint spring garnish + built in a hi-ball) on the menu, but then there are the Assembly cocktails. I favoured After Darkness (Hendricks Gin + lemon juice + rose water + egg white + shaken & strained + rocks glass), while my friend loved Last Kiss from Russia (Vodka + passion fruit puree + kaffir lime syrup + shaken & straied + hi-ball + topped with ginger beer).

Last Kiss from Russia (L), Betty & Camp (R)
We also managed to try a few others, which were all very different but delicious:

Betty & Camp: Campari + grapefruit juice + raspberry + lime juice + shaken & strained + hi-ball + topped with soda. "An Italian style tall cocktail which compliments any outfit and makes you look smarter".

Lavender Hill Cappucino: La Muany Rum + lime juice + apple juice + shaken & strained + martini glass + apple & lavender foam + Pop Rocks. "An exciting martini that will rock your taste buds world".

Rasp'n'Co: Vodka + raspberry puree + lemon juice + Cartron chocolate + shaken & strained + hi-ball + topped with soda. "A grownups 'Vodka raspberry' that tastes amazing and is way better for you. Despite the dash of chocolate liqueur".

The food menu concept here is all about sharing. Of course if you are feeling hungry or greedy, then you could have the entire dish to yourself. But what I love about sharing plates is that you'll get to try more dishes than if they were served as for individuals.

Its owner, Ben Toussa, who brought us Pocket Bar, informed me that Assembly is also a restaurant, there are a few items not yet available on the food menu as the chef is still refining the recipe and Ben wasn't comfortable putting them on the menu till they are perfected. Now that tells me I'm in good hands!

The dishes we ordered for the night are:

Citrus and Mozzarella Salad (L), Crab with a Kick (R)
Assembly's Fries: fries + cheese + truffle sauce
Citrus and Mozzarella Salad: mozzarella + fennel + citrus
Crab with a Kick: crab meat + avocado + dash of wasabi + sourdough

The salad was very refreshing as suggested by Laura, our friendly waitress who had a very welcoming smile, but the fries are the best I've had in a long time! Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, they are to die for!

There is only one dessert on the menu, warm chocolate fondant + coconut gooey, unfortunately thanks to the big opening weekend there was none available tonight, so I'll have visit again soon to try it out as Laura guaranteed it'll please our taste buds.

Given its central location, excellent service and a great menu of food and drinks, Assembly is perfect for lunch between meetings or after work drinks.

Assembly: Regent Place, Sydney NSW 2000. Entry via 488 Kent St, or down the escalator from George Street entrance  Assembly on Urbanspoon

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