11 Bridge St Sydney, NSW 2000
|Opening hours||Daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm|
|Features||Business lunch, Accepts bookings, Licensed, Private dining, Vegetarian friendly, Yum cha|
|Prices||Expensive (mains over $40)|
|Payments||Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard|
|Phone||02 9252 1888|
Good news, restaurant fanciers. Eleven Bridge now boasts a doozy of a bar snack menu.
Here's the backstory, in case you missed it. After more names and addresses than I can name in this column, Rockpool Group overlord Neil Perry made the decision to close Rockpool for good last year, rebranding it Eleven Bridge. The idea here is a neo-classical menu, harking back to those grand days of luscious comfort and rich plushitude.
Interestingly, the bar menu represents none of that. If anything, it's bite-sized old school Rockpool on the sly, where Chinese flavours and technique are worked into a breezy, fine dining modern Australian menu.
Watch a roast partridge trundle by on a waiter's trolley accompanied by its very own lamp, ready to be carved tableside. And keep watching, because there you'll be with a steamed sandwich, filled with executive chef Phil Wood's take on Chinese style sweet pork. Here, he's taken a slab of speck and given it a rock sugar bath, stuffed it into a fist sized soft bun along with house-made kimchi and potato crisps.
If the idea of a four dollar dumpling outrages you, avert your eyes from the snack-based part of the menu where northern Chinese style potstickers, filled with pork and prawn, are lightly dressed in black vinegar and sold by the piece. I mean, to be fair it's a beautifully plated dumpling, its papery skin intricately folded and finished with a deep golden singe served in a lovely hand-painted-and-thrown ceramic bowl. But can you ignore the price tag? Probably, considering where you're sitting.
You can even order the face of a crab. The meat, emulsified with milk and salted duck egg, is stuffed back into the head then gratinated and served with a sweet and acidic fennel salad. It's reminiscent of something James Bond would order on holiday (which is only ever a very cool thing) but at $47 a carapace, I'd consider ordering a few more snacks instead (I'm very keen to try their fried chicken) or drop three extra dollars for the caviar and blinis.
As with all Perry's ventures, you're welcome to order anything from the restaurant's epic wine list. But it's well worth poking around the short, sharp cocktail list as well. They'll whip you up a straight Negroni (and do it beautifully) but try ordering a Just in Time –- a light, approachable shakeup of bourbon and coconut water, sweetened with a little vanilla syrup. Think of it as whisky and water for a Bondi blonde. Speaking of which, check out the Light Shower -– two types of rum, sweetened with agave and amped with cold drip coffee and wild kombucha. Taste the 2026.
Eleven Bridge's bar menu is still a luxury, but it's a more achievable luxury than the full bells and whistles experience in the restaurant. You know what they say, when you can't afford the bag, buy the lipstick.
It's bite-sized old school Rockpool on the sly, where Chinese flavours and technique are worked into a breezy, fine dining modern Australian menu.
Pro Tip: Are you a cheap date? Is your partner a fancy peacock? The bar menu is the perfect compromise.
Go-to Dish: Stir-fried greens with Chinese black olive is the perfect foil for all that sweet pork (well, at least, you can fool yourself that it is.)