Sydney's Best Small Bars


Surry Hills-Darlinghurst
This Must Be The Place
239 Oxford St, Darlinghurst

This Must Be The Place, Darlinghurst

At first appearances, you canít help but feel This Must Be The Place is a bar straight out of Scandinavian design school. The light coloured woods, white fixtures, clean lines and efficient use of a compact space not only give the bar a Nordic feel but make it a clean, contrasting beacon against the ramshackle neighbourhood that is Oxford Street on the eastern side of Taylor Square.

Itís easy to see why this bar has won a lot of praise: the bar staff are talented and present you with any request without the pseudo pageantry many bars seem to think is a good idea (but most times is just showy nonsense). The stars here are the spritzers, extending well beyond the usual aperol and soda. The easiest one to try is the Gloss (strawberry, Ketel one Citroen, watermelon Riesling and rosewater, $14) but the standout is the Rosetta (Cappelletti Aperitivo, Sparkling Moscato and Yellow Peach, $16). Possibly the only downside to these drinks is that while delicious, their sweetness will leave you wanting a change of pace after one or two. At this point maybe switch to something a bit more savoury or one of their beers (starting at the bargain price of $6 for a Martens). Wine by the glass, however, is no bargain but it is a high standard, ranging from $11-$22 for whites and $12-$17 for the reds. On the bright side, a 2014 Eddie McDougall Prosecco will only set you back $9, which is not bad value for a great sparkling that is difficult to track down from retail outlets.

For food, offerings are a little basic but perfect for smaller snacking. In an unusual step, expect to see canned mussels and clams on the list (served with toast). These are not your average John West varieties but despite the quality they may not be to everyoneís liking. A better option in this case would be the cheese plate ($26/$32).

There is a lot to like about This Must Be The Place, however it is lacking a certain vibe and that makes it feel a little flat, and while the quality of drinks and food on offer is certainly on the high side, a couple of spritzers each and a cheese plate for two wonít leave a lot of change from $100.

In brief: This Must Be The Place
Best things:Talented bar staff, top notch ingredients, 3pm opening.
Don't miss: The spritzers
Ideal for: Small groups, catch-ups with friends
Date tip: The layout of the bar is not date friendly
Gripes: Quite expensive, with limited options if you are looking to watch the budget. This would be fine if the venue had a more up-market feel but the furnishings and location donít marry with whatís on offer.
Rating: 6/10

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Last updated: August 2017
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