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We should start by telling you a couple of things:
1. Although we’ve both been here before, neither of us have ever arrived here sober before this visit. We’ve already been, how do we put it... alcoholically stimulated in the past, so it was quite a novelty to turn up with all senses alert.
2. We had a two hour window to visit Zeta, before rushing off to a Sydney Film Festival movie, followed by a poker, tequila and kazoo-jam session. None of this is really relevant, we just really need you to know how awesome we are.
YOU IS PERDY. The first thing to make an impression was the light. It was 5pm (Nanna Hour to some, Cocktail Hour to others. Us, mainly) so the sun was just setting, a nice time to notice how bright the space was compared to the moody dimness of the bar after nightfall, the only way we’d seen it before. Not really a massive stretch of the imagination when you realise that the main wall is made of glass. Remember: alcoholically stimulated. But everything about this bar is chic; from the walls of glass, to the tall ceilings, dark wooden decor, and polished floorboards. There’s also a multitude of seating options: weeny chairs and tables, a lounge area, bar, private lounge dens or out on the terrace. Being one of the coldest June weeks in memory, our first position was next to the massive gas fire, located directly below the wall hanging of a man’s head in a lion’s mouth. Let’s just throw that out again, this time with the capital letters it deserves: The Wall Hanging Of A Man’s Head In A Lions Mouth.
He doesn't mind the heat of the fire. He's already inside a lion.
YOU GIVE GOOD TALKY. The bar offers table service, and the staff were very friendly upon meeting us – seating us, asking how we were and taking the time to monitor how chatty we might be before allowing themselves to get enthusiastic. This, our dear readers, is one of the most subtle and brilliant indicators of great service we can find. If a customer doesn’t want to chat, diving head first into a spiel about the origins of a drink or the fascinating idiosyncrasies of climate is not really going to cut it. It’s a mark of a good host to gauge the level of commitment to one’s drink and to the vagaries of conversation. The floor staff were exclusively female and exclusively gorgeous, so it was a good thing they were all very good at their jobs. Neither of us are shy about getting our bitch on if and when beautiful people give us a reason to complain. It’s genetically programmed into us, because we own vaginas. No complaints, though. About the service OR our vaginas.
Okay, okay. I’ll stop saying ‘vaginas’.
Lorin said "That's the money shot!" a total of eight thousand times.
Although it was a ridiculously cold night, we were able to take our coats off and sit and enjoy our surroundings, such was the efficacy of the heating. There are even trees up here, four storeys above the street, and if you’re careful to blink at just the right moment, you too can look like a derro in a park when drinking in front of them. All that’s missing is a paper-bagged drink and the slurred phrase “Wha-choo looging at, yegunt?”. Classy and that.
Not pictured: flagon and scent of urine.
The main drawback of the terrace situation was easily the darkness – we needed a torch to read our menus (and to take hilarious and insightful notes). Happily, we happened to have a torch with us. You come drinking with Lorin and Jo, you come prepared. We can sort you out with anything once we open our handbags – torches, bottle-openers, little pepper grinders, musical instruments. That shit is like Batman’s dream utility belt, but without the hammy acting.
The only way you can see a ninja is if they self-illuminate.
THAT’S POETRY, THAT IS The cocktail menu is possibly one of our favourites so far. This is just food, liquidised. Some of the drinks are so unusual it’s like they got a five year old with a spectacular palate to design it. With choice phrases like “Smoked bacon and maple syrup Manhattan”, “Pineapple and coriander martini”, “gin & tonic jelly” and “served in a baked and caramelised lime shell”, it seems that most of the cocktails contain stunning novelty elements that make them stupidly fun to choose from. The menu is extensive and awesome. Zeta provides signature drinks, classics with a twist, and then if you really can’t handle studying the menu, they also offer the classics. Something for everyone, including the excruciating temptation to sample everything and subsequently forget your own name and address.