7 Bay St Double Bay, NSW 2028
|Opening hours||Wed-Thu 5:30pm-midnight; Fri-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-5pm|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Bar, Licensed, Romance-first date|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Phone||02 9362 4680|
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Double Bay Rissole. No, it's not a very specific eastern-suburbs-related euphemism (well, it could be – if anyone out there has five minutes to spare, Urban Dictionary is crying out), it's beef that's been shredded, breaded and fried and dubbed a "rissois". It's just one of the many little snacks that kick off Jose Silva's menu at this new Bay Street wine bar.
An ex-acolyte from the cult of Guillaume, Silva has injected some serious Portuguese flavour into DB. The chef also owns Sweet Belem in Petersham – as close as you'll get to a roolio troolio pasteis de nata in Sydney – and they sell on the menu here for $5 each, all covered with sugar and cinnamon sprinkles. Here, he serves crunchy salt cod fritters, heavy on the cod, light on the everything else. His peri peri eggplant is a total spicy squoosh-fest.
You might be lucky enough to catch ex-Rockpool Bar and Grill sommelier Louella Mathews working the Coravin. The greatest gift of all time for wine fans who can't afford more than a half glass of burgundy at a time, it has pretty much changed the way a lot of us are learning about, and drinking, wine. The system injects a little mosquito-like proboscis into the cork, and sucks up the liquid without letting any air in, thus preserving the whole bottle as if it was never opened. Magic!
She might suggest a juicy glass of barbera or maybe a half glass of burgundy alongside some Aussie pinot, just for a bit of fun compare-and-contrast work. And would you look at that – the table next to us are drinking something that looks suspiciously unfiltered and skin contact-y.
While you're here, it'd be remiss of you, really, to not order the whole chorizo which comes soaked in sherry and alight, like your own personal spot-fire. Not to mention a bowl of fat clams bathed in white wine served with some good, rough bread.
As you might expect, this is share-friendly gear. Jurassic quail, drawn and quartered, comes served finger-searingly hot and salty with big slices of roasted Jerusalem artichoke. Deliciously charred brussels sprouts are dressed in a buttermilk-rich sauce and finished with puffed and toasted rice.
But when it comes to anything verde, that's the end of it. As is the Portuguese way, there's very little by way of the green stuff. Or as one waiter once proudly said to me over a steak sandwich in Lisbon, "the animals eat the greens so you don't have to".
Well played, sir.
Pro tip Bibo takes reservations but also keeps tables for walk-ins
Try this The chorizo, purely because it's on fire, and when it arrives you can say "ooooooh"
Like this? Head on over to Love Tilly Devine for more glass-and-a-plate action; 91 Crown Lane, Darlinghurst, 02 9326 9297