Bars Restaurants

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst

It’s opening night at Hello Sailor in Darlinghurst, and the nautical-themed venue is heaving with patrons.

Hello Sailor, Newtown
Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst

Not as if the latest bar to open in Sydney has visible street signage. Hello Sailor is located off Foley Street and is accessed through a narrow entrance with the only clue a tattoo mural of Hello Sailor’s ‘winking lady’.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
L-R: Luke Redington, Marco Faraone, Mike Edkins

The new bar and eatery is the exciting new venture from Marco Faraone and Mike Edkins of The Island Bar along with bartender extraordinaire, Luke Redington, ex Eau-De-Vie bar.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Timber Dinghy

Inside the dimly-lit Sailor’s Den, nautical memorabilia abounds with ferry rope, recycled timbers, the odd parrot with a Corona, a salvaged timber dinghy lounge and a “porthole” screening scenes from Finding Nemo.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
L-R: Hugh Payten Smith, Reece Griffiths, Luke Redington

The bar is where the action takes place, and Luke Redington has created a rotating cocktail list that takes you to a different seaside port around the world each week.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Opening Night at Hello Sailor

Nautical beers also feature on the drinks menu with a wine list (also by the glass) including Italian wine varietals.
Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
L-R: Armando Alvarez, Army Navy

Start with the Armando Alvarez cocktail, light and refreshing, made with Espolon Blanco tequila, St Germain Elderflower, passionfruit and cucumber. Or the Army Navy, a well-balanced mix with Plymouth gin, lemon, almond and orange blossom that is easy to drink.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Reece Griffiths

The cocktails come in all types of drinking vessels that would make a pirate feel at home.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
L-R: Piña Colada, The Billy Bob

The Piña Colada is served in a silver tankard and is a delicious mix of Sailor Jerry spiced rum, coconut, pineapple and citrus while The Billy Bob hits the right whiskey spot with Makers Mark, sloe berries, apricot, lime and pomegranate.

Tempted as you are to make yourself comfortable with a few drinks, walk up the stairs from the bar, and you’ll find yourself in a colourful Seafood Shack with a seafood aperitivo bar.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Upstairs at Hello Sailor (before the crowd arrived)

The nautical theme continues with more hanging rope, a wooden interior, porthole windows on the doors, two cosy booths and a long red communal table.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Fresh Seafood

Fresh seafood is aplenty in the kitchen and Chef Fulvio Lancione (ex Spiedo) has created a menu of Italian share plates that goes well with nautical beers such as Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Co in San Francisco.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst

Start with Oysters of the Day ($3.50 each) freshly-shucked and served with eschallots and raspberry vinaigrette,

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Calamari and Prawn Frittura

or the Calamari and Prawn Frittura ($11), a dish that reminds you of long, hot summer days at the beach.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst

Choose the Seared Caramelised Scallops ($3 each) and you’ll get a delightful combination of plump and flavoursome scallops topped with a pancetta rasher on an egg sauce.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Octopus Salad

The Warm Octopus Salad ($12) with potato, basil and anchovies crostino has established itself as a crowd favourite on opening night.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Fish and chips

The Fish and Chips ($12) of the day is a piece of cod fried in a light and seasoned batter with tartare sauce and crunchy chips.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Fish Burger

The Fish Burger ($8) comes in a lightly toasted bun with a side of chips.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Snapper Cartoccio

Another standout dish is the Cartoccio of Snapper ($14).  Unwrap the paper bag to reveal perfectly-cooked pieces of snapper, moist and flavoursome, with tomato, olives and oregano couscous. This a moreish dish worth offering in a main course size.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
King Prawns

The Chargrilled King Prawns ($4) are marinated in lemongrass and come with a delicious tomato salsa that packs a little heat.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Chicken Wings

It’s not all seafood at Hello Sailor’s kitchen. The Spicy Chargrilled Chicken Wings ($9 for 3) are worth picking up with your fingers. The succulent chicken pieces come served with red and golden mini beetroots.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Beef with Thyme

The Beef with Thyme and Olive Oil, ($15) is perfectly cooked, seared and the outside and pink in the middle and comes with spicy chicory and pea sprouts.

Another specialty worth ordering but was not available on opening night is Panigacci ($2.50 to $4), north Tuscan bread cooked in terracotta on charcoal with a choice of fillings such as hot salami, aged pecorino and olives.

The Bar Team

Meanwhile, back at the bar, it’s popular sing-along 80s music, with cool DJ tunes and good times.

Hello Sailor, Darlinghurst
Hello Sailor’s Winking Lady

Hello Sailor is a standout addition to the ever-growing Sydney bar scene. The new bar and eatery offers a fun and convivial vibe in which to enjoy good drinks and tasty share plates in a nautical setting. The attention to detail in the fitout is to be applauded. The cocktails are well-crafted and with a rotating list, you’ll want to come back and work your way through it. And if a near full house on opening night is any indication, prepare for queues to start to form outside.

Sydney has welcomed Hello Sailor to its shores.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

Hello Sailor
96 Oxford Street (Entry through Foley Street, between Crown and Palmer Streets)
Darlinghurst NSW

Opening Hours: 5pm to 1am, Tuesdays to Sundays (closed Mondays)

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.