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restaurants guide

Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro

Address :
33 Barangaroo Avenue
Barangaroo South
Sydney  NSW
Phone : 02 8072 7037 
Email : hello@banksii.sydney
Web-site : www.banksii.sydney
Opening times : Lunch : Daily from noon
Dinner : Daily from 6pm
Cards :
AE MC V eftpos 
Licensing : Licensed
Seats : 200
Cost range :
$65 (per head for 3 courses plus coffee)
Restaurant rating :

Lofty-ceilinged new restaurant/bistro from Bar H's Hamish Ingram and Rebecca Lines, giving a serious nod to Sir Joseph Banks, the First Fleet botanist who no doubt foraged on the Barangaroo foreshore. The nod is in both a large range of vermouths as well as the flora used in the kitchen in many dishes. And the dishes often sing with freshness and vibrant flavours through the menu of small and large dishes. This is interesting and vibrant food that Hamish Ingram gained fame for, and now presents in a more exciting setting.

WINE : Fabulous range of vermouths and an exciting international selection with lots by the glass. Prices start at $50 and climb steadily.


Thereýs a lot of new offerings at Barangaroo. From several wanders and peruses of menus it seems better thought out than its neighbours further south along Darling Harbour. Perhaps itýs just the passage of what seems like only a few years that has added a sophistication of thought on the culinary mix, and the style.

Barangaroo seems smarter, brighter and the restaurants more interesting. But what are the highlights? The inviting Turkish Anason is one of the pioneers among the pop-ups that have now made way for the next generation of food offerings.

Banksii comes from a chef of some pedigree as Hamish Ingramýs tiny Bar H has been one of Surry Hillsý somewhat under-the-radar best restaurants for several years.

Named for Joseph Banks, the First Fleetýs botanist, Banksii occupies a desired corner spot flowing not only out to the waterfront but also with northern, sheltered tables. Itýs also a dedicated Vermouth Bar ý with a stunning range of vermouths and some knowledgeable staff to help your choice.

The menu mixes it up with snacks like Crispy WA sardines, roast garlic aioli that would suit a glass of dry or bianco vermouth. Their Banksii chicken pate, muntrie jam, toast was a near perfect quenelle of chicken liver pate, lifting an oft-ordinary dish into an Oliver moment - ýmore pleaseý.
Grilled prawns, curry leaf butter, pickled turmeric was pretty as the turmeric were ribbons draped across crunchy prawns ý simple, sparkling flavours.
The Botanical greens & cheese pie was a bit disappointing ý nice tart topped with mixed leaf salad but simply tasted like a spinach and cheese tart I could knock up at home.
But you can get serious with Glaze-roast half duck, red vermouth soaked native plums which combines both bar and bistro in one dish.

A short list of sweets sounds simple but they perform well - Caramelised pear & rosemary cake, creme fraiche sorbet, and Banksii trifle of vermouth sponge, burnt vanilla custard, and rosella jelly. Both are matched with sweet vermouths to get you back on theme.

Other than vermouth the wine list is a world-widely roaming selection bursting with interest.

My initial reaction was of a bit of a lack of excitement. Maybe Iým being overly critical as even the least dish was perfectly pleasant ý if only everything was as good in its genre as the pate Iýd have been joyful. Iým probably just expecting more from such a good chef.

Iým going back ý there are at least a couple of vermouths with my name on them.

14.5 / 20