Best New Bar 2018 : Rosenbaum & Fuller

Rebecca Varidel
21st Dec 2018

When you hear the owner operator of Rosenbaum & Fuller is the international multi-award winning Lee Potter Cavanagh the blossoming of cocktail excellence at this new Bondi bar is already 100% a given.

Yes - and when we tried our first Rosenbaum & Fuller cocktails on our first visit, our eyes nose mouths all nodded in delighted agreement.

He's been waiting for this moment, collecting all the prize spirits from competitions he has won locally and around the world. To this he's added a glorious list of truly local spirits to his backbar. Take Poor Toms Gin from Marrickville as one fine example. No beckoning big liquor company contracts on his shelves. Hooray. This is the definition a truly independent Sydney small bar.

There is also a strong though tight starting wine list, now one sheet, the he hopes before long to grow into a book.

Yet the uplifting surprise in direction for Lee Potter Cavanagh is where he has gone with the food.

Rosenbaum & Fuller (named in honour of each side of his family) is a purely plant based but its not only vegetarians and vegans that will be grateful for these offerings. The menu, day and night, is pure quality joy and creativity. Take the butter (no spoilers here - you have to go and taste it and guess for yourself what the secret ingredient is). 

Provenance reigns across all food and beverage ingredients, exemplified with the perfect night menu bar snack - a bowl of small locally grown Queensland Spiced Desi Chickpeas. Other snacks include bar appropriate yes original and bloody delicious - see Green Pea Hummus with Witlof as our fave. More substantial offerings are winners too - my top pick is Leek Terrine, Cashew Butter, Toasted Sourdough. My mate loves it but leans towards the Fried Cauliflower, Chilli and Garlic Jam as his best bet. All declare that these 13 O'Brien Street premises are worthy of lingering visits, from morning coffee through afternoon soirees to late night chats.

If Sydney knew more about lingering, these premises would be called a bistro, which is not the posh word we sometimes take it as. It's about quality food and beverages, bites and sips, supporting good conversation. And that's what these premises and Lee Potter Cavanagh brings.

A late contender to the best Sydney bar of this year, opening only this month, yet in founding the next generation of contemporary new small bars, Rosenbaum & Fuller is the clear winner. It is exactly the kind of new direction bar that we all need to sustain us in more ways than one.

Rosenbaum & Fuller "an all day and night house of local spirit, real wine, fair coffee and honest food".