Inspired by the backstreet bars of old Athens, a new corner to pull up a stool and have a chat over shots of ouzo and gin cocktails has found its way to Sydney’s Alpha. Part of one of the city’s oldest institutions for Greek dining and imbibing, Baraki is tiny yet goes well beyond to satisfy all day drinking and snacking.
In what is by day Alpha’s espresso bar, Baraki’s eight seats transform at lunch time to old-world laneway bar. With a smattering of seats outside, the west-facing venue is perfectly positioned to soak up the afternoon sun.
Occupying the two high brick walls of the space are a wide array of local and European spirits. The shot and cocktail menu is the focus here with a broader selection of Greek spirits than available in most CBD bars. Ouzo, raki, mastiha and rakomelo adorn the walls. These are complimented by a range of gins from well-known international and tiny local distilleries.
If you are after a concoction, Baraki’s bar manager Irek Luty has you sorted. Whether that’s the Cretan Warrior with Toplou Tsikoudia (a variety of raki from Crete), lime, cardamom and cucumber, the Baraki Fizz, an Aegean spirtz with blood orange, or the Purple Poseidon, made from Hendrick’s gin, Skinos Mastiha (an aromatic Greek liquer) and topped with lavender and wild mountain tea, this is an elegant interpretation of Grecian drinking culture.
Alongside these tipples are executive chef Peter Conistis’s meze menu. Althought subject to change, the current offering includes dolmades stuffed with sour cherry and lemon, pastourmas — spice cured beef with a pear and lentil salad — and toursi, grilled and marinated eggplant with black garlic and dill. Also available are a range of crowd-pleasing dips that perfectly match the aromas and flavours of the cocktails.
Open from lunch-time during the week and 5pm on Saturday, Baraki offers an all too enticing place to stop off for a bite and a drink that draw on the flavours of the old country but interpreted anew.
238-240 Castlereagh St
Mon – Fri, 12pm – late
Sat, 5pm – late