Whatever the reasons people give for loving Neutral Bay, you'll never see the great range of bars on that list. In fact, if you ask where to go out in the area (excluding The Oaks), people will spend a lot of time scratching their heads. Honey Rider is taking a step forward to give people a real alternative drinking spot. It's not just a small bar, it's a very small bar and occupies the space of a former shop: it's long and narrow, a format quite common in Newtown or Surry Hills. The interior has been given the kind of makeover that embraces modern elements while retaining some of the site's 100 year-old heritage. The styles tend to clash a bit and if you are on a date, it's a topic to fall back on if you find the conversation has lulled. By keeping the tables and bar stools high, they have made use of the space, but you do feel like you are perching rather than relaxing. For something a bit more comfortable, grab a couch at the back.
On the drinks menu, most of the usuals are covered: a good collection of wines in the range $8-10, some beers and a cocktail list. Perhaps they are catering more for specific tastes, but the cocktails tended to be a little on the sweeter side. Ask beforehand and they can knock this down a bit, allowing the natural flavours to come through more. A few pizzas are also on the food menu and a couple of bar snacks. There is plenty of eating up the road, so itís easy to grab something more substantial if you are in the mood for a meal.
In brief: Honey RiderBest things: A real alternative choice for drinking in Neutral Bay. No blaring music Ideal for: Catch-ups with friends, dates Date tip: Couches are a good option but make sure you try to face each other. The bar area can look appealing but it is a little too exposed. Gripes: Lacks warmth/intimate atmosphere, cocktails are a bit too sweet at times Rating: 6/10
Last updated: November 2015
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