An eating house upstairs and a bar downstairs, Grasshopper is a laneway bar that's right in the middle of Sydney's CBD, its location reminds me a lot of Melbourne's laneway bars - well and truly hidden.
Finding it the first time may be a bit tricky, you'll need to look out for a laneway off George Street across the road from Strand Arcade. Even if it looks a bit scary at night, take a deep breath and walk to the end of the laneway. Your reward for bravery shall be a cosy and eclectic small bar, where cocktails are served in jam jars and beakers among the usual wine and cocktail glasses.
A small selection of bar food is served downstairs, but if you fancy a more substantial feed then head upstairs to the restaurant. While wine and beer are served at the bar, mind you there is only ever one kind of beer and cider on offer, you cannot and must not go pass the cocktails. The best thing about ordering a cocktail here is you don't ever need to remember names. In this bar, cocktails are ordered by numbers. The menu also changes slowly over time, when it first opened back in 2010, we picked our cocktails between #1 to #10, tonight we got to choose from #31 to #40.
While one of my friends tried #32 (rested tequila, coconut syrup, fresh lemon and blood orange served in a jam jar; a.k.a small bar glass), I went for #35 (honey & ginger rice wine, fresh lemon, mint and lemonade served in a large beaker). The mix might sound a bit strange but both were delicious and refreshing.
In case you are planning to stay for a while, hand over your credit card and ID and open a tab, why? Because you will get a cassette tape as your bar tab card, cool huh?
With its relaxed atmosphere, 70s furniture including some rather comfy armchairs, plus the dim lighting, Grasshopper even works nicely as an intimate place to take your date for a drink. However, if you are going there with your date I suggest avoiding Friday nights, that's when the bar is full to the brim with the after work crowd, but it is probably the easiest night to find the place as people spill out into the laneway, sitting on milk crates chatting the night away over a drink or two.