Sydney's exclusive private roof-top bar opens to the public
Sydney's five-star Primus Hotel has opened its exclusive private roof-top bar, which was reserved only for guests, to the public.
Named Level Seven, the poolside bar located on the top level of the Pitt Street hotel, which opened in 2015, offers stunning views of the city. Unlike many roof-top bars in Sydney, especially those located inside hotels, this open roof-top bar offers more than 180-degree views, which means you can relax on a resort-themed lounge and look at the stars – a rare thing to experience in a Sydney bar. However the pool, which opens till 10pm on certain nights, remains guest-only access.
Level Seven, which opened on the first day of spring, offers a season-themed cocktail menu created by bar manager Nitin Maithani and a food menu designed by the hotel's The Wilmot restaurant executive chef Daniel Menzies.
Order a bottle of Veuve Clicquot RICH and it's served in front of you. The barman will add pieces of cucumber, red and green capsicum, grapefruit and celery, swirl it around and hand it to you for tasting. The fruit and vegetable infusion, according to Maithani, balances out the sweetness of the champagne. While many might feel it's sinful to infuse a good bottle of bubbles, I like the touch. The champagne goes down smoothly, maybe a bit too smoothly. The drink is perfectly paired with freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters. But if champagne and oysters aren't your thing, you can opt for the Rose Spritz cocktail with a charcuterie board.
There's plenty of spring-themed cocktails to choose from, including a vodka cocktail infused with white chocolate and toasted apples. The Level 8, a drink which follows the concept of an old fashioned, made from Ron Zacappa 23 Rum, Remy Martin Vsop cognac, earl grey nectar, macadamia and caramelised banana, catches my eye. It's served with a toasted cinnamon stick, which looks like a cigar and suddenly I'm thinking James Bond. Level 8 definitely has all the feels of a gentlemen's drink, but don't let that deter you ladies, it sure didn't deter me.
On Fridays the hotel runs a free one-hour historic tour of the 1939 art deco building, formerly the headquarters of the Sydney Water Board. Starting at 4.30pm (reservations required) visitors will learn about the building's incredible history from the initials M.W.S. & D. Board on the large front door of the hotel to the construction of the building's iconic six red marble pillars. And the timing of the tour of 339 Pitt Street is convenient enough for visitors to head straight on up to Level Seven for a drink after it concludes.
If you're feeling famished, the hotel's restaurant The Wilmot, next to the lobby, offers an evolving menu comprising of contemporary hearty dishes with a mix of international flair and regional influences.
Nikolai, our soft-spoken and accommodating waiter, runs us through the menu – entrees of Berkshire pork belly, kangaroo and beef chow san bao, and rabbit tortellini which is a favourite among diners – unfortunately they ran out tonight, Nikolai tells us. For mains, the wagu he says is a hit with diners, as is the braised beef cheek and the blue-eye trevalla.
I'm excited to try the kangaroo and beef chow san bao, something I've never seen on the menu before. It arrives served in a large lettuce, not looking so Instagram worthy. My friend points out that a lettuce leaf isn't going to look spectacular anyway you angle the iPhone camera, and he's right. But that doesn't matter once I take a bite. The Australian twist on this popular Asian dish is delicious, and a unique choice if you don't mind the taste of more gamey meats. It's perfect to pair this with a red.
The wagu beef cooked to chef's choice and served will bone marrow won't disappoint and the mashed potato served with bits of bacon is a fantastic idea – I'll be serving bacon bits with my mash at home now. My braised beef cheek served with polenta and roasted carrots is moist and cooked well. The dishes are a generous size, so come hungry.
To finish we have the honeycomb parfait served with yoghurt and fresh berries and the rocky road toasted marshmallow. A perfect end to a wonderful evening, worthy of a birthday or anniversary celebration, or just a night out in Sydney.
Level Seven is open Monday to Thursday from 2om to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm, and Sunday 11am to 6pm. The Primus Hotel historic tour runs every Friday at 4.30pm, registration required. The Wilmot is open for dinner 6pm to 9.30pm for seven days of the week. Three-hour valet parking for The Wilmot guests, A$25. See primushotelsydney.com
Annie Dang was a guest of Level Seven, The Primus Hotel. The writer paid for the dinner at The Wilmot.