Jazz, cocktails and good vibes at Sydney’s Low 302.
Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills is Low 302, one of Sydney’s most popular bars amongst hospitality folk and locals. Known for attracting a crowd passionate for good live music, quality crafted cocktails and late night meals, the souls behind this bar are pushing to let you know that the small bar scene is still kicking.
Breathing in the scent of lingering incense and candle wax we enter the bar. We’re once again surprised by the intimacy and authenticity that is present at Low 302. This dark-lit small bar has hosted many wild nights and good times. The blues and jazz in the background has a way of making time stand still while the dark, plush furniture invites you to take a seat and settle in.
In the corner of the main seating area surrounded, by dark red drapes, is a grand piano and a small stage. Raising the roof with gigs five days a week including live jazz, blues, soul and resident DJs, there is no reason why you should ever leave Low 302 feeling offbeat.
As I sit down by the bar, I’m greeted by bar manager Luke Reimen and an overwhelming selection of house infused spirits. With a cocktail menu reminiscent of the days of Victoria Room and The Hazy Rose, Reimen suggests I try the “Tika Paprika”, a mix of capsicum infused Blind Tiger gin, Cointreau, lime and tonic ($14). With a prominent flavour of capsicum, this unique spritzer is a refreshing and exotic blend.
Whilst sipping our Paprika Spritz we gaze down on Low’s popular food menu. Having delivered $10 meals since the doors first opened in 2008, creative consultant Jaime-Lee Radburn is excited to announce that Low 302 is launching a new food menu. With a growing clientele and a new head Chef, the new menu is innovative and seeks to offer a better range of dishes, especially for vegetarians. You can still get classic house specials like their Sunday whole roast chicken. But Low 302 have made half the menu vegetarian and also offer options for vegans. Best of all the kitchen will still stay open until 2am.
We move outside and order another round of cocktails, the Topless Yao ($19) and FCUK Yoga ($18), the latter one turning out to be one of the best bourbon based cocktails we’ve had in a very long time. Made with Makers Mark, ginger, fresh apple, lemon and bitters, this bad boy is guaranteed to be a best seller. The Topless Yao is made with Vida Mezcal with Lillet Blanc, muddled pineapple, lemon and basil. It’s light and refreshing, hitting the spot for a tasty cocktail before our food arrives. Sitting down at one of the smaller tables facing busy Crown St, we realise that one of the most underrated features of Low 302 is the high quality people watching. Rain, hair or shine, the crowded outside area is perfect for chatter and laughter.
For mains, we order the eggplant & cumin fritters ($19) and the white truffle gnocchi, served with steamed oyster mushroom, green pea and Thai basil ($19). Served with capsicum, celery ragout, sour dough crumb and salsa verde; the Eggplant is a close runner-up to a new favourite. Perfectly cooked, crunchy celery and tasty salsa verde makes a world of difference, and stands to its promise of a good meal. Finishing off, we cave in to the temptation of the Twice cooked pork belly ($19). Served with water spinach, chilli sauté and candied shrimp, this is another exciting meal from Low’s new menu.
With some of the most beloved venues in Sydney calling last round for good, the team at Low 302 really has rebuilt themselves as pioneers in the small bar industry. Promoting live music, bangin’ cocktails and a late-night kitchen, Low 302 is back on the high and they want you to join the ride.
302 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 6pm – 2am