Surry Hills’ Tokyo Bird gets set to expand its wings with the opening of Banchō, a new laneway small bar.
Sydney’s love for a hidden bar is palpable, with hard-to-find watering holes scattered all over the city. Injecting some distinctive Japanese flair to the small bar scene is Banchō, a new laneway bar set to open this November. Owned by the team behind Surry Hills’ Tokyo Bird and Tramsheds’ Osaka Trading Co., this new 100-seater Chinatown concept is set to embody the best of Tokyo’s buzzing bar life and beyond.
“Our focus will be great cocktails and whisky, with the cocktail list to feature Asian produce and ingredients from the local markets and grocery stores,” says owner-operator Jason Ang. “Sydney’s Chinatown is so diverse with Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai offerings, and more – we’ll be showcasing influences from all these cultures in our cocktail program.”
Fancy yourself a whisky connoisseur? Regular customers of Banchō Bar will be offered bottle locks on its mezzanine floor, where you can keep your unfinished bottles of whisky baijiu Chinese liquor or other spirits for future visits. “Bottle keep programs are common in Asia and we currently offer it on a small scale at Tokyo Bird,” says Jason. “At Banchō we’ll have more than 30 locker spaces for customers’ bottles.”
Open from Monday to Saturday, 4pm till late (including a late 2am licence on Friday and Saturday), Banchō is also set to offer a menu of appetite whetting bar snacks, including kushikatsu panko-crumbed skewers of meat and vegetables.
Jason says that the team has been looking at opportunities to open a Chinatown venue for years. “It’s such a vibrant and lively area at night time with tonnes of food options but not many high- quality options for drinking,” he says. “We’re really looking forward to bringing proper classic and house cocktails to Chinatown, with the friendly service for which our venues are know.
And the name? Banchō (pronounced barn-chor) translates from Japanese as ‘the leader of a group of delinquents’.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Plaisance