Monday Barhop | Sydney's Best Small Bars

Sitting and sipping in Sydney's best small bars every Monday. Check here for regular reviews.


I. Was. On. Fire. Absolutely killing it. Charming smile, seductive eyes, slight brushing of the legs. The red wine in my hand and the dim lighting were doing wonders for the sexy and suave lady I always knew was somewhere in there.

The wine list - incomprehensible and delicious in equal measures.

The wine list – incomprehensible and delicious in equal measures.

Totally getting laid tonight.

Heads up people – do not come here with your platonic friends. Unless you want to lose the platonic part. Far from being a chapter in a history book like the name suggests, this place can and will fool you into thinking you’re on a date. The intimate settings, elegant wood paneling, and Italian chalked on the wall will all conspire against your gruff Sydney attitude, stripping you down to the seductive and eloquent European within. Or it could just be the red wine.

121 BC has to be the most romantic small bar we’ve come across. With enough wine on the premises to get all of New Zealand singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by midday (not that hard), this bar has everything that’s needed for a night that will leave you wanting to rip each other’s clothes off.

Probably the best small bar food we've come across.

Probably the fanciest small bar food we’ve come across.

The food is absolutely gorgeous, somehow managing to be hearty yet delicate with rich and subtle flavours. Although the menu varies, our favourites of the night were cauliflower and pomegranate, the ravioli, and the pork ribs.

The wine was, well, Italian. As a person with no knowledge of Italian beyond ‘napolitano’, the waitresses were knowledgeable and lovely enough to provide some recommendations. Chalked behind the bar, the list changes regularly with wines that are obviously carefully picked. If you’re like me though, and prefer the full and no-nonsense style of Australian red, be warned – this sort of colonial attitude to wine is not indulged.

121 BC has won its fair share of awards this year and it is easy to see why. Of course this combined with it’s small space means queuing is a bit of an inevitability, but being Surry Hills there’s plenty of places to retreat to while waiting for a table. So all up: 121 BC, I take my whatever-hat-Italians-wear off to you. Espresso shots all round.


121 BC
4/50 Holt Street, Surry Hills

121BC Cantina & Enoteca on Urbanspoon


2 comments on “121BC

  1. Rebecca
    December 11, 2012

    Great review! Funny, sophisticated and informative as usual! I really want to go there now.

  2. Pingback: Our Top 5 Small Bars | Monday Barhop | Sydney's Best Small Bars

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