by Suzan Ryan – editor, bars&clubs
The Push, situated beneath the Russell Hotel, in the Rocks, has opened after an extensive renovation and re-brand. The new Push is inspired by the bar’s 100-plus years’ history as a gathering place for local larrikins, liberals and jazz music aficionados. The interior combines antiques with custom-designed pieces and a pleasing selection of craft beers, crafted cocktails and a premium wine list.
Cocktails include The Larrikin (Jack Daniels, Tuaca, muddled lime and clapped mint topped with ginger ale); Pamalove (PAMA pomegranate liqueur, Tanqueray gin and passionfruit with a hint of lychee); and the Push Over (Zubrowka vodka, Chambord, muddled raspberries and a hint of lime).
The menu – created by Nic Whalley and head chef Dean Barlow – is modern Australian with an English and American influence. Bar snacks include English-style pork pie with mustard and pickled onion; and house made Scotch egg with sauce gribiche.
Share plates include Sichuan and kaffir lime crumbed calamari strips with soy dipping sauce; Cajun spiced school prawns with preserved lemon mayonnaise; and a Reuben plate of house poached corned beef, cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese, gherkins, rye and mustard.
Those after a more substantial meal can order sandwiches: pulled pork with shredded apple & cabbage slaw and mustard mayo or a herb mince, kangaroo patty with bush tomato relish; mains: lentil and chickpea patty with quinoa salad and blue cheese mayo, slow cooked lamb shoulder Shepherd’s pie with crushed peas, Sebago mash and watercress, and Rangers Valley rump with hand cut chips, salad and red wine jus.
Desserts give a mouth-watering nod to ANZAC history, with crumbed macadamia ice cream with rum butter sauce, and a jaffle of bread-aand-butter pudding with dark chocolate custard and salted caramel.