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Eat, Drink, Be Merry: The Passage

For those of you who knew and loved the Latin bar/club El Barrio in Darlinghurst and cried a little when it closed, let’s all share a moment of silence for what once was.

Although we’re still desperate for another spicy club to replace the spot we liked to make a fool out of ourselves most, we’re pretty happy with what the venue has been filled in with – The Passage, an ideal hub for social gathering, eating, and, of utmost importance, drinking. And oh, does the drinking do alcohol justice. The cocktail list reads like a who’s who of I’ll Get You Pissed and Taste Good Too, and the bartenders clearly know what they’re doing when they’re shaking it like a polaroid picture. But don’t expect any snobbishness arising from these skilled ladies and gentlemen – they’re about as nice as any bartenders can get. In fact, they’re about as nice as any family can get, so you can kind of consider The Passage as your home. One that’s full of nice food and drinks and good times, so, occasionally, better than your home, which is a little sad when you think about it.

As for the food, well, it’s pretty much perfect for the friendly, social vibe The Passage has got going on. All tapas that are designed for sharing, you can start with a few and order more to soak up the increasing amounts of alcohol you will undoubtedly consume. They’re all fuss-free and super easy to eat, ensuring that your conversation isn’t interrupted by excessive focusing or, of course, spillage. A highlight was definitely the stuffed zucchini flowers with goats cheese and truffle honey, which sounds as good as it tasted. But regardless of how good the menu looks, be sure to save room for the desserts – we tried the bitter chocolate mousse and saw heaven for a split second. It is somewhere we hope to go when we die.

The low lighting and minimalist design creates a homely, comfortable atmosphere, while the long tables and banquet seating arrangements make it the ideal spot for birthdays and other social gatherings where many people are involved in drinking and talking and general revellry. It appears that quite a few Sydneysiders have already picked up on that, as The Passage is often filled with the gorgeous sounds of chatter and friends and good times all around. We highly recommend you become part of it.

The Passage
231A Victoria Street

words: Seema Duggal


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