The Wolf Wine Bar will have you howling
Forget The Wolf of Wall Street, say hello to the Wolf of Bligh St, a new wine bar right in the heart of the Sydney CBD. Here the only stocks and bonds you’ll need to trade are in the form of a table on a busy week night and the number of wines you want to knock back.
Sitting on the corner of Bligh Street and Hunter Street, the Wolf, has an outdoor balcony and floor to ceiling windows looking out into the city streets. As you walk inside, you will be greeted by your gracious host for the evening, who will take you to one of the coveted tables either on the balcony or towards the back of the bar.
Black chalkboards line the walls with cocktail and wine specials. The far right wall showcases a selection of wines from around the world – mainly Italian varieties.
The Wolf is the newest addition to the Blight Street Collective – joining Barrafina Tapas and Contrabando. Executive Chef Peter Varvaressos, is the mastermind on Bligh Street and it’s safe to say that his European travels have given him a lot of inspiration – enough to fill three bars!
As we have arrived straight from work, our waiter recommends we kick off the night with a Caribbean punch cocktail and a Wolf Style Old-Fashioned. The Old Fashioned packs a flavourful punch, featuring French Brandy and a citrus kick. Whereas the Caribbean punch was softer – highlighting fruit flavours rather than the liquor.
Perusing the menu, you will find a wide variety of European inspired dishes. It’s hard to say exactly what the cuisine style is at The Wolf. It’s got a bit of everything from ‘surf n turf’ to ‘Sicilain style’ hanger steak. Mexican mariachi music plays in the background whilst you enjoy Spanish share style plates, each paired with distinctly Italian wines. It leaves you with a mix that one could only describe as ‘so Sydney’ or ‘whirlwind fusion’.
It is worth speaking to your waiter about matching your wine to your meal. Every dish at The Wolf is carefully matched to a specific wine by their sommelier Christian Brown. To begin, we recommend the crisp zucchini flowers filled with prawn mousse and aioli. If you are hesitant about the prawn moose, don’t be. The prawn mouse has a delicate flavour and when combined with the tempura style zucchini flowers it creates a flavour that is reminiscent of fish and chips.
The grilled haloumi with honey and lemon is a balanced mix of sweetness and acidity. Paired with a glass of wine, the haloumi and zucchini flowers were a great way to get the evening started.
Then order the Crisp Pork Belly with seared scallops, roast carrot puree, cumin caramel. The pork belly is incredibly tender and pulls apart with the slightest touch of a knife. The combination of the pork and scallops brings a ‘surf and turf’ style to The Wolf and goes down a treat. But the moment of truth was the crackling… which on this occasion was underwhelming and left us longing for the crispy crack of pork fat.
To compliment the rich flavours of the pork, try a glass of 2013 Santa Christina Sangiovese. The Sangiovese is from the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy. A red blend of Sangiovese with less proportions of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah which is bright and rich in flavour.
We also shared the barbecued calamari with quinoa, lemon, chilli and ginger which was an exciting and fresh dish of seafood and chilli flavours. As it hits your mouth, you will taste the zing of the sauce which is balanced with the flavours of black, white and yellow grain quinoa. To bring out the flavours of the lemon and chilli, try a lighter red wine – perhaps a 2013 Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir, Martinborough NZ.
We’d like to see The Wolf define its offering a bit more. Whilst it’s fun trying lots of different cuisines it can distract you as a diner. That said, it’s an ideal location for an afterwork drink or a night out where you can try some of the flavours of the world without leaving Blight St.
The Wolf Wine Bar
37 Bligh Street, Sydney, 9235 1161
Open – breakfast, lunch + dinner – 7am – 10pm
Monday – Thursday