Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.
I had high expectations for Stitch. Really, really high expectations. I heard ‘Sewing’ and ‘Bar,’ and ‘Hotdog’ all in the same sentence and they skyrocketed to heights Bob Marley would be proud of.
And when I stumbled upon the little sewing machine just chilling out on the footpath, the only sign that I’d made it to the right place – well, let’s just say there may have been jumping and excited handclapping involved.
Walking through the little foyer – think your Grandmother’s sewing room minus the mothball smell– I was already nodding my head in satisfaction, mentally patting myself on the back for a bar choice win. But just as any internet shopper would know, what you see online is not always exactly what you get (I have a child’s pair of jeans to prove it).
Stitch is a bar that ticks a lot of boxes. Long and delicious cocktail list? Tick. Good wine selection? Tick. Intimate-feeling spaces for you and your friends to catch up in? Tick. A properly cool roof? Tick. Delicious yet slightly overpriced food? Tick.
The food deserves a bit more of an explanation. There were some real stars on the menu. As you would have read elsewhere, Stitch is known for its French hotdogs and accompanying curly fries. And they truly are delicious with a capital can-I-have-another-one-I-ate-that-too-quickly. The other stuff on the menu was a bit hit n miss though. The dip platter was a bit average, and there were a few things like the waffles that they didn’t have that night. Given it was a Monday, but it was also a Monday night. If any day is a ‘hot damn do I need waffles’, it’s a Monday.
So on paper, Stitch seems like a orgasm-inducing bar. But while it was definitely good, it wasn’t abso-fucking-loutely amazing. Why? Because the atmosphere just wasn’t as carefully crafted as some other of Sydney’s small bars have managed. The sewing theme was only intermittently carried once you made it downstairs, and while the wrought iron and newspaper-covered walls were cool, it didn’t provide a consistent theme. The bartenders and waiters were also pretty rushed and while they were friendly, they didn’t have the chance to be as personable or charismatic as those elsewhere.
Look, Stitch was a good bar, and it had a lot of the elements to be a mind-blowing bar. But the combination of overblown expectations and an underperforming theme meant that instead of leaving the place screaming like an 8 year old coming off their first rollercoaster, we left with a ‘that was nice wasn’t it?’