Hunter St. Hospitality, the group operating some of Sydney’s most iconic venues, including Rockpool Bar and Grill, has revealed its new seasonal menu.
At a ‘bar hop’ media event held on 2 March, media and guests were taken on an autumnal tour of the group’s new cocktails at Rockpool, Spice Temple, Saké and Alice. Senior bar staff at each venue introduced the drinks, while food pairings were also on offer.
Drinks included the raisin infused ‘Raise In Cosmo’ at Rockpool, a modern five spice flavoured on a traditional Japanese Yuzushu at Spice Temple, a sweet and savoury Red Shisho Spritz at Saké, and Glass Arm Eddie, a version of the forgotten Eddie Brown cocktail spiked with apricot brandy.
After the event, Bars & Clubs spoke to Hunter St. Hospitality Group Bar Manager, Steve McDermott, to learn more about the new offering and the motivation behind it. Read our conversation below.
B&C: Why did Hunter St decide to switch up the menus across the group?
Steve: “It’s really an opportunity to refresh our menus seasonally, which we do on an ongoing basis. It provides a more diverse drinking experience for guests: more new drinks to explore and a chance to discover new flavours, ingredients, and styles of cocktails.”
B&C: How much does seasonal produce play into these menus?
Steve: “Greatly, however given how much produce grows year-round in Australia, we are happy to use ingredients if they deliver the best result. A year-round ingredient must bring the right feel for the season. But there is nothing better than a seasonal shift to inspire new ideas and flavour combinations.”
B&C: How important is it to consider the concept and offering of each individual venue when creating the menu?
Steve: “When talking about cocktail menus for restaurants, it’s an absolute must to consider the individual venue, dining experience, and ambience. There should be a healthy amount of crossover between kitchen and bar so that the overall experience flows for the customer.”
B&C: How much input do you have with these menus, or is it mostly left to the individual teams at each bar?
Steve: “I’m as hands on as possible, and work across some venues more than others. However, I encourage each team to take ownership of their menus and contribute as much as possible. With ownership comes greater creativity, inspiration, and empowerment.”
See images from the night below.