Salt Meats Cheese has given Sydneysiders somewhere new to imbibe, launching their very own rooftop bar in the heart of Circular Quay. Located inside the imposing Gateway building at 1 Macquarie Place, Bar Ombré is the first of its kind – both an extension and a diversion from what we’re used to from the Salt Meats Cheese (SMC) restaurant group.
Crowds gathered at the secret rooftop on Thursday night for Festa in the Sky, a celebration of pure Italian flavours and Sydney landscapes. Hidden around the side and up a few flights of stairs from the SMC restaurant, Bar Ombré is both sheltered and open, with views of the surrounding skyscrapers and groups of people dotted below.
Bar Ombré is named after the gradual blending of colours that occurs when watching the sun set over the harbour, a quintessential Sydney image which is completely visible from the rooftop. The name also informs patrons of the best time to pop by the bar – when the work day’s finished and golden rays of sun are shooting across the sky.
The Bar Ombré menu is Italian to the core, but strategically designed with the accessibility of bar snacks in mind. It celebrates simple flavours like cured meats, house-made cheese, and fresh home-made pesto. The Ombré antipasto is a foolproof place to start, with burrata, salumi, semi-hard cheese and pickles served alongside a traditional wood-fired focaccia and extra virgin olive oil. Other favourites include the fried calamari with chilli and zucchini; prosciutto with grilled eggplant and Ligurian pesto and marinated white anchovies with fresh tomato, herbs and breadcrumbs.
The drinks menu is where Bar Ombré shines, and the mix of European classic and modern inventions means there’s something for everyone. Cocktails and spritzes are where Ombré excels, with crowd favourites including the Forget Me Not with Beefeater gin, lychee liqueur, St Germain, lime juice, egg whites and plum bitters; the barrel-aged Negroni with vanilla and grapefruit and the Smokin’ Nights with Averna Amaro, mezcal, Angostura bitters, vanilla syrup, cream and cinnamon. There’s also a dedicated spritz bar, featuring the Ombré Spritz with St Germain, mint, fresh lime, prosecco and soda, and the age-old Aperol spritz. There is also a healthy list of wines, featuring Italian and Australian variations with a focus on biodynamic, organic and vegan wines.
Bar Ombré is well and truly the ultimate after-work drinks location. Happy hour extends from 4-6pm daily, which includes $5 beer and wine, $10 spritz, and $20 cocktail carafes. To keep the mood light there are also free bar snacks between 6 and 8pm, where guests can expect dishes like truffled popcorn, wood-fired crackers and pesto, smoked olives, cured pancetta with chilli and pepper, truffle pecorino and roasted peppers with salsa verde.
“Bar Ombré is laidback yet sophisticated, a place where you can drop in for a quick bite at the bar and end up sharing a table with new friends you’ve just met”, says co-founder, Edoardo Perlo. “We’re thrilled to expand our hospitality offering starting with a relaxed bar where locals can enjoy life’s simple pleasures and embrace Sydney’s golden hours.”
Level 3 Gateway
1 Alfred St, Circular Quay
Mon–Wed, 4pm - late
Thurs–Sat, 12pm - late