Sydney is flooded with awesome underground bars – from Baxter’s Inn a 1920s prohibition bar to Shady Pines a laidback North American Saloon, nearly every block in the city has a nondescript door behind which, a dimly lit room, with period music and wall furnishings is pulsating with the unusual mix of hipsters and suits. To a local Sydneysider the underground bar phenomena has long since merged from being a phase to being the norm, whether you stumble across them by accident or purposely seek them out, the search for that nondescript door has become a part of the going out process!
Uncle Ming’s may be my new favourite underground bar – and not just because they serve dumplings! Like all Sydney underground bars there isn’t much signage to indicate its location, peering into alleyways and pressing your ear up against doors is part of the adventure of finding it… OR you can follow my instructions.
Finding Uncle Ming’s is easy as it’s located at 55 York street underneath a suit shop one block down from Wynyard Station. There is a New York style stairway that leads down below the street where you will find a door covered in beads… this is Uncle Ming’s.
Once you step through the beads you can be forgiven for thinking that you are in the wrong place on account of the very dim lighting. But take a breath and walk carefully (so as you don’t bump into any furniture or people) your eyes will adjust shortly and then through the darkness you will see some of the amazing artefacts and paintings that adorn the walls.
Pull up a stool and spend some time perusing the menu, don’t just hastily flick through it until you find your regular beer. The descriptions of the cocktails that are on offer by the teapot are part of the full Uncle Ming’s experience.
How about a Senor Chang – cinnamon infused espolon + agave + pineapple + mint
Uncle Ming spent time in field of Tequila. Uncle like what he see, Uncle goes on to create the first Margarita! What a guy! Uncle not even Mexican.
Or maybe you feel like a Tokyo Rose – tanqueray gin + rose + yuzu + lemon + soda
Aunty Ming is florist. She put Rose inside teapot one day that Uncle drinks. Uncle once again take credit. This drink has nothing to do with Tokyo.
While you wait for your teapot of cocktails to be delivered snack on the ridiculously Moorish and tasty deep-fried edamame bean chips. Also spend some time watching the crowd, the red dimmed lights make you feel as though you are more isolated from the rest of the room than you actually are.
After a couple of teapots you will feel Uncle Ming’s magic starting to flow to your head – it’s about this time that you should make the sensible decision and order yourself some dumplings. There are more than enough per serve to make sharing an enjoyable experience. Being completely candid – these are not the best Dumplings around, especially not as Sydney has so many great options, I did enjoy them though and they definitely hit the spot. In particular, I enjoyed the pork ones, though the chicken ones left a little to be desired, the vegetable ones were great but could have used a little more filling.
Once gorged, sit back and relax, order some more teapots and hope that it isn’t still daylight outside as heading back into the real world will seriously distort your eyeballs!