EatDrink

An underground Vietnamese cocktail bar & eatery to hit Sydney

Forty Licks, a modern Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar, will open its doors in a basement on York Street in Sydney’s CBD this month.

Inspired by the juxtaposition of the natural landscapes of Vietnam, alongside the busy and vibrant cityscape of Sydney, head chef Joel Manton will join forces with prominent Sydney restaurateur Tony Mowad, to showcase classic Vietnamese techniques reflecting Joel’s many years living in Hanoi and Saigon.


Joel’ s menu will feature a variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes with a modern twist, in both small and larger style plates. Menu items will include braised eggplant and tofu with turmeric; sizzling kingfish and noodles in the style of Chả Cá Lã Vọng; and a steaming hot bowl of Bún bò Huế - the lesser-known but equally delicious cousin of crowd favourite Phở.


Says Joel, “The food comes from my years as a chef living in Vietnam, our shared love of the cuisine, and, of course, strong family ties with Vietnam where my wife is from and where we’ve raised our young children. We want to show people something beyond Phở and rice paper rolls, by adding another dimension to the great Vietnamese food around the city and the suburbs.”


Award winning Sydney bartender, Kurtis Bosley will be joining forces with the Forty Licks team to create a balanced cocktail list, complementing the food offering. With over 10 years’ experience in hospitality, Kurtis will create an eclectic Vietnamese inspired cocktail list including Red Lotus with Secco Vermouth, Calvados, amaro, lemon, bitters & Bird’s Nest; and Hanoi Sour with bourbon, ginger liqueur, Chichi Morada, lemon & pecan bitters.


Utilising existing architectural elements of the heritage building, Henry Goodwin and Rob Scarfone from GSBN Studio have worked with the team at Forty Licks to create a 75-seat venue that encompasses a dining room, bar and raised seated dining areas that mimics the tiered formations of the Vietnamese rice paddies.


Forty Licks is located at 24 York Street, Sydney and will open on 30 April. It will be open Monday - Friday, from 11 am - late. Reservations will be available for lunch and dinner.


Image: head chef Joel Manton (left) and restaurateur Tony Mowad (right)