Dreaming of Bibo Wine Bar: Sydney

The ultimate bar snack at Bibo: runner bean fritters.

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. 

The ultimate bar snack at Bibo: runner bean fritters.
The ultimate bar snack at Bibo: runner bean fritters.

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.   

It's moody and romantic inside Bibo Wine Bar
It’s moody and romantic inside Bibo Wine Bar

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. 

Mackerel pâté at Bibo Wine Bar
Mackerel pâté at Bibo Wine Bar

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).  

It's a wine lovers paradise at Bibo Wine Bar
It’s a wine lovers paradise at Bibo Wine Bar

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.  

Silva's take on rissois
Silva’s take on rissois

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.   

The best table in the house has to be along the top floor balcony
The best table in the house has to be along the top floor balcony

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.  

Sandwich heaven
Sandwich heaven

Sometimes dreams really do become reality.

Disclaimer: As stated above, I know the owners.  But I really do love the place. 

Essentials
Details: Bibo Wine Bar, 7 Bay street, Double Bay, NSW (Ph 02 9362 4680)
Damage: Reasonable. 
9/10
Bibo Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

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