It’s a cracker of a name, you’ve got to admit! However, for some reason the liquor license crew don’t like it so the official name of this small, basement-level retro bar is simply The SG. Its secret Moniker was dreamed up by owner Jason to encompass his Nan’s marvellous teaspoon collection which hangs on several wooden display boards behind the bar (yes, one of them is in the shape of Australia), and his love of goats. There is even a trifle bowl full of little ‘I heart goats’ badges on the bar for guests to take home as souvenirs. When I arrive Mirelle is already best buds with an awesome pommie lass who has been handing out the badges to passers-by on the street and is now sitting at the bar enjoying a few drinks. It’s got to be good if the staff drink here, right?
Mirelle and I cosy ourselves into two cream, embossed vinyl recliners with a faux wooden coffee table for a jolly good chin wag and a catch up. It’s a small, dimly lit space filled with mismatched suites of 70s furniture and brown geometric wallpaper to match. It feels like a cross between your Nan’s living room and a student common room. Jason, on one of a couple of occasions that he pops over for a chat, tells us that all of the furniture, in fact everything in the bar, is sourced second-hand, mostly on eBay. We comment that it feels very homely and relaxed and he says that’s exactly the effect he was going for.
We try a few of the cocktails, every one of them delicious and served in wonderful Granny glassware. (Unfortunately there’s no menu on the website and I can’t remember any of the names or ingredients.)
Getting peckish, we also order a charcuterie and cheese platter which comes served on a fabulous gilt-edged dish with compartments for the various things: salted wagyu beef, smoked salmon, Persian feta, a creamy blue goats cheese (from a choice that also includes triple cream brie and vintage cheddar), and small green olives, along with a generous quantity of crackers and crispbreads.
This keeps us amused for quite a while but an hour of gossip later we’re still a bit hungry so we get a pie to share – a veal and roasted tomato one served in a small white Pyrex bowl with two dainty teaspoons and a dollop of tamarind chutney on top. The richness of the meat filling and the tart chutney go surprisingly well together.
It’s not until we go to leave that I notice the window above the bar displays, along with some old candy-coloured glass jugs and matching glasses, two Star Wars Snow Walker models and a Hot Wheels plastic toy car track. This now makes greater sense of the lone Space Invaders machine in the corner. We’re also invited to admire Jason’s burgeoning collection of string art. It’s the perfect Gen X den of nostalgia! I’m envisioning (and hoping for) John Hughes movie nights right around the corner.
Spooning Goats (The SG)
32 York Street, Sydney
Visited 21 November