After a long week, especially for my dining companion the lovely Nicole, who had uni exams all week as well as work, we decided a Friday night out was in order and what better combination than a night of cocktails and burgers?
We planned on going to Stitch Bar, ignoring all advice about avoiding it on a Friday night due to the swarms of people there. We felt confident in battling the corporate crowds who on a Friday never return from their long lunches... We're young, pretty and sassy... We walk up York St, it's quiet, deserted almost, except for a small queue outside the bar. We join it and a few minutes later are inside. It's gorgeous.
A fairly new establishment, Stitch is a darling little boutique bar, brimming with the mystique and chic that its many Melbourne hole-in-the-wall counterparts have. This style of bar is long overdue in the Sydney CBD, but finally things are turning around. Stitch Bar to me, has a Spanish or Eva Perron Argentine feel to its decor (sewing kitsch decorations aside) with its wrought iron panelling that divides the dark booths. It's very small and dark and mysterious. We love it.
The bartenders are not only highly-skilled but seem to lack the obligatory dose of wanker Sydney bartenders possess nowadays. How refreshing! The cocktail list is impressive and thoroughly caters for all palates. I order a High and Dry: France’s favourite apple eau de vie Calvados blended with Krupnik honey liqueur, mixed with fresh apple juice, lime juice then sweetened with homemade Rosemary syrup. It is sweet and cool and sublime. They have used a juicer to freshly squeeze the juice (I have never seen this before at a bar) and the drink is alive with the tang of green apples.
Nicole orders a Strawberry Swing: Summer combination of strawberries & basil leaves gently bruised, shaken
with 42 below vodka & top up with chandon sparkling wine. "It tastes like a Margarits pizza in a glass!" She's right. The drink is a gorgeous savoury dance on the palate.
After an almost intolerable wait of over an hour (the crowd is in a lingering mood and nobody vacates their tables) we get a table and order. We are starving. I haven't eaten all day, so this burger better be pretty damn good. My BLT burger arrives: beef burger with smokey chillies, bacon, lettuce, vine ripened tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, dill pickles, and cheese. It also comes with a side of curly fries. I dive into the curly fries. They are hot, juicy and coated in that spicy, paprika, herb mix. Yum. I pick up the burger and bite into it. I come up for air, my face covered in mustard. I quickly wipe it off and go in again. It is utterly amazing. It is smoky and full-blooded and succulent and everything else the ideal burger should be. Nicole is just as eagerly chowing down her lamb burger. The thought goes through my mind, this is one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. Nicole turns to me and says, "This is the best burger I've ever had." As soon as I heard it out aloud, I knew it was true.
"Yes. This is the best burger I've ever had."
I cannot express in words just how good this burger is, but the fact that I have eaten hundreds of burgers over the course of my life from all around the world and this one is the best, says enough. Excuse this picture being out of focus, I was shaking with anticipation!
We also ordered a bowl of hand-cut chunks with roasted garlic, rosemary and sea salt. They are delicious, but alas we are too full from our burgers and fries so after stuffing ourselves with a few, I offer them to a table of guys who welcome them with open arms. I hate food going to waste.
Mr Bear was meant to be meeting us and having a burger, but he calls to tell me there was a queue and he doesn't do waiting. You see, he thinks it's some up-itself bar full of try-hards, so he goes down the road to the pub to have a beer and wait until we're finished. We finish and let loose the barrage of praise for our burgers and he decides that he'll go back for one after all.
He orders an Old-Fashioned and is delighted by the friendly bartenders. He is even more delighted by how the drink tastes. It's mighty fine. And I love the sphere of ice they used. So stylish.
Mr Bear's burger arrives, the BLT on my recommendation. He bites into it. BEST BURGER EVER!
History was made tonight friends, it really was.