Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.
Palmer and Co is built inside Sydney’s first source of water. I am not sure what others visualise, but the civil engineer in me was thrilled to learn this fact. When I then learnt that it is 20’s themed, it went straight down on the Must Hop list.
In my eagerness I was first to arrive, I like to soak up the vibe of a place without the distraction of conversation. When I walked through the door I quickly realised that I was not the demographic of clientele sought. If I had known beforehand that it was owned by Merivale (The Ivy, The Establishment), I wouldn’t have been so surprised, and I probably wouldn’t have worn jeans… The place was brimming with very well dressed, professional-looking people, with an average age perhaps of 35. All seating taken, and almost all standing room filled too. Considering it was a work night I cringe at the thought of Friday. I like my bars relatively empty so I can chat to the bartenders and not shout to my friends over hubbub.
Live music – a huuuuuge tick from me. Plus we were right next to the duo allowing me to zone out intermittently and watch them play (sorry barhoppers! I can’t help it.) As good as the musicians were, it would have been better if they were playing typical music from the 20’s, since everything down to the menu was typical of the era. Speaking of the menu, the food was delicious and well presented. I would recommend the corned beef sandwich, or the mac and cheese. (I had only ever eaten mac and cheese out of a packet, so I was really impressed).
On to the beverages. The cocktails were delicious, and there was a pleasing variety to choose from, with standard prices around $16. Quite a small selection of wine, but you don’t come here for wine. The place specialises in spirits, with pages and pages of rums, gins, whiskeys, vodkas and more. The menu itself was very impressive, and made for an entertaining read, full of old pictures and anecdotes.
There were flapper waitresses and bartenders in top hats, all of whom were very friendly despite how busy it was and the fact that I looked like a pleb. The quirky 20’s attire and artefacts on display around the place were all intriguing, however to the humble barhoppers it all came across as a bit grandiloquent. (Cool word right?) Palmer and Co was slick and manufactured which was really stark compared to the other small bars we’ve been to, which feel like they are more about lifestyle than profits.
Palmer & Co.
Abercrombie Ln, Sydney