Everyone dreams of opening their own little wine bar right? It would be convivial, serve interesting wines and of course have fabulous food to complement the drinks. Two of my friends stopped dreaming and started doing, opening Bibo Wine Bar in Sydney’s Double Bay this year.
They’re clever fellows so they enlisted the support of a co-owner with an amazing private wine cellar and top chef Jose Silva. The result is a place where both the food and wine are on song. The classic dark timbered room is dominated by a long bar along the entire wall opposite tables and banquette seating. Out the back there’s a terrace with a European feel to it and upstairs there’s more seating and a space for functions.
The wine list is extensive but super sommelier Louella Mathews is there to guide you through and I went with her recommendation of a glass of the Loureiro, 2014 Aphros from Portugal ($11). It tastes of stone fruit and is wonderfully refreshing.
We visited in the afternoon so ate from the bar food part of the menu. Think marinated olives ($8) and crusty bread with a creamy, smoky mackerel pâté ($10).
Silva made a name for himself in Sydney with his amazing Portuguese custard tarts but his savoury game is equally strong. Portuguese inspired Bacalhau croquettes ($4 each) are bronzed and crisp on the exterior and ooze gooey salty fish.
There’s also a spin on Portuguese rissois – traditionally a pastry filled with fish or prawn. Here Silva fills small breaded pockets with pulled, spicy beef ($3.50). But the ultimate bar snack must be the runner bean fritters ($8) which are a bowl of green beans deep fried until crispy – so deliciously addictive.
Beyond the bar snacks there are more substantive offerings like beef short ribs ($36) or Moreton bay bugs ($42). It’s not officially on the menu but late at night you can also get Silva’s take on Portugal’s famous Francesinha sandwich. It’s a meat lovers sandwich with just the right amount of spicy kick and comes served with homemade crisps and tangy cornichons.
Sometimes dreams really do become reality.
Disclaimer: As stated above, I know the owners. But I really do love the place.
Details: Bibo Wine Bar, 7 Bay street, Double Bay, NSW (Ph 02 9362 4680)