First small bar for Sydney’s Chinatown

Sydney’s Chinatown has welcomed its first small bar after the team behind Tokyo Bird in Surry Hills and Osaka Trading Co at Tramsheds, opened their third venue, called Banchō Bar.

The 100-seat laneway small bar is located at 10 Thomas Lane, behind Quay Street and owner-operator Jason Ang said the location will influence the venue’s cocktail list.

“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,” Ang said.

“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.”

However, Group Beverage Manager, and business partner, Yoshi Onishi said the team would take a wider look at the bar’s whisky selection.

“We’re branching out from the Japanese whisky focus of Tokyo Bird towards more Scotch and other world whiskies, including Australian and Taiwanese, as well as independent bottlings,” Onishi said.

“But we do also have Suntory’s ultra-rare Hibiki 35-year-old.”

Opening from Monday to Saturday, 4pm until late, including a 2am late licence on Friday and Saturday, Banchō Bar will offer bottle lockers on its mezzanine floor for regulars to keep their unfinished bottles of spirits for future visits. There will also be a “substantial menu of bar snacks” including kushikatsu – panko-crumbed skewers of meat and vegetables.

Ang said that the team had been looking for a Chinatown venue for a number of 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. We are really looking forward to bringing proper classic and house cocktails to Chinatown, with the friendly service for which our venues are known.”

In terms of the name, Banchō translates from Japanese as ‘the leader of a group of delinquents’. “It’s also the name of one of our customers’ pet dog,” Ang said.

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