Keep an eye on the events page at Japanese-inspired Crane Bar in Potts Point. In addition to the Wednesday night “dollar dumplings”, Crane Bar often hosts masterclasses. After all, teach a man to make his own sushi and sashimi and he’ll… well, he’ll still come back to eat yours. No disrespect to the class, but the sushi at Crane Bar is pretty delicious. And it’s brought to you on a platter as you kick back and sip a well-mixed, icy-cold cocktail. Plus, there’s everything from spicy tuna rolls to thinly-sliced kingfish (with garlic paste, ponzu and jalapenos) on offer. As well as lightly-salted edamame – exactly what you want, if you’ve opted for a beer or a sake – pork gyozas, cheeseburger spring rolls, and so on.
There are even a few Asian-influenced cocktails on the menu, like the Miyagi Mule (a primarily vodka-based drink, with a heady kick from wasabi, cucumber and homemade ginger beer) and the Umami Mary (a spin on the Bloody Mary). But the drinks list is pretty vast, so you may well not even make it to those on your first few visits – landing instead on classics like Old Fashioneds or Cosmopolitans.
Crane Bar is a light and airy space, its rooms packed with colour and stylish furnishings: old school armchairs upholstered in Tiffany box blue; faux cherry blossoms and paper parasols floating in the air just above your eyeline; a few swaying palms (which invariably put you in mind for a Mai Tai). Reservations here are possible during the day, but come the evening, you’ll just want to get there sooner, rather than later. This is an understandably popular after-hours spot.