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VENUE REVIEW** – Balmain’s hottest boutique wine bars, Corner Bar and Cantina Bar

Sydney Social 101 had a great start to the long weekend as we were invited to review two of Balmain’s hottest boutique wine bars, Corner Bar and Cantina Bar.  Now it must be said that I’m a big fan of Balmain, I could see myself living there one day, it really feels like a community and its variety of bars and restaurants seems to be growing by the week!

Sydney Social 101 decided to eat at Corner Bar and then head to Cantina for a post-dinner cocktail – which, maybe wasn’t your traditional style digestive, but did the job non-the-less!

When we arrived at Corner Bar, I was pleasantly surprised by the aesthetics of the bar, low level lighting and candle lit tables were located in a small bar come restaurant, with little vintage features and ornaments. Despite the fact that a mini storm was brewing outside, you would never know once inside the cosy retreat.

Sydney Social 101 was looked after by local Balmain boy, Lindsay Egan, who has had huge success since opening the hot new wine bars on Balmain’s culinary drag, Darling Street, along with the two young Brisbane brothers, Ryan and Daniel Singer of Two Brothers Hospitality.

When we arrived, we promptly ordered an Espresso Martini, following a recommendation by the team at Sally Burleigh PR. You know what, it didn’t disappoint and was a perfect way to start the long weekend and unwind!

Open for breakfast and dinner daily, Corner Bar is nothing short of a premium offering when it comes to delivering good food and wine. From ‘street sambos’, to fajita pizzas, and shared plates, the trio have created a menu inspired by much of their travels around the world. Corner Bar was very unlucky in their timing, as their Pizza oven decided not to work that night. We were not to worry however as there are plenty of other options to choose from!

One seated, we ordered: Scotch Eggs (had to be done, we are British after all), Arancini Balls, a pint of chips and Hot n Spicy Chicken Wings – YUM! A perfect grazing platter that hit the spot!

Scotch Eggs and Arancini Balls

Pint of chips and Hot n Spicy Chicken Wings

To accompany our mean, we also had a bottle of the house white Sauvignon Blanc, which was just delightful! We were also told that exclusive to Corner Bar, Ben Gould from Blind Corner has also created a wonderful biodynamic organic Shiraz. As one of the most dynamic young wine makers in Australia, Ben was recently named one of Gourmet Travellers 10 most exciting new producers. He is at the forefront of the natural wine movement, making wines as naturally as possible with maximum care and minimum chemical intervention.

Drinks Menu – Corner Bar

And with one of the world’s foremost contemporary coffee authorities, Paul Bassett under their belt, it’s obvious Corner Bar is serious about delivering the best of the best to its patrons. That’ll be my next port of call for sure, bunch at Corner Bar – You know what, I can’t actually wait!

Here are some of the other dishes that are available:

Sydney Social 101 was also told that Corner Bar will undergo small tweaks over the next few weeks to play homage to its Bar heritage and build their reputation as one of the inner west’s most exciting dining destinations and intimate drinking venues.

They also have a great reputation for amazing service, and they didn’t disappoint! Whilst it was bordering on hurricane season outside, Lindsay offered to drive us to Cantina Bar, what a lovely touch – and certainly one that didn’t go unappreciated!

Their philosophy for Corner Bar and Cantina Bar is very honest and simple – ‘it’s all about things we like’… I have to say, it’s pretty much what most people would like – good food, great atmosphere and lovely crowd!

Upon arriving at Cantina Bar, I only had one thing on my mind… the Twister Margarita! We promptly sat down and put in our order! We were greeted by Ryan, who was lovely, and very welcoming! Cantina Bar too feels very welcoming and was bustling with people, always a good sign in my eyes!

Passionfruit and vanilla – Twisted Margarita ($16) at Cantina Bar.

The menu at Cantina Bar, overseen by Group Chef, Shelley Manton has been inspired by ingredients carefully sourced from around the globe, with a focus on Latin American flavours. Dishes include Chilean hot dogs, sliders and pulled pork nachos, with all sauces and marinades made fresh daily. Must stop by here for food next time, it looked and smelled AMAZING!

In addition, the drinks list perfectly complements the cuisine with a selection of tequilas, cocktails, wines and beer sourced from around the world. Apparently the cocktail lists are inspired by the boys’ personal travels. Co-owner Ryan Singer has also lent his expertise as the cocktail mixologist, bringing global drinking trends to Sydney’s inner west. The beer lists include boutique selections, supporting small producers from around Australia.

Cantina Bar provided the perfect venue to end the lovely evening, I can safely say that I will be back 100%. Here are some of the dishes to whet your appetite:

Open only for dinner, Tuesday to Sunday, from 5.30pm to midnight, Cantina is bringing life to the ever expanding culinary precinct of Balmain.

Sydney Social 101 was invited as a guest of Sally Burleigh PR and received a complimentary meal and beverages. All view expressed on Sydney Social 101 are our own.

About sydneysocial

One twenty-something year old girl who has been living in Australia since Jan 2009.

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