The Wild Rover
Words by Lukas Raschilla on 03-May-2018
75 Campbell St, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia
Tel: (02) 9280 2235
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Monday -Saturday: 4pm-12am
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Recommended for: Cocktails, Spirits
Price guide: Middling
Food: Bar snacks
Enter through the big wooden door with the red light on Campbell St in Sydney's Surry Hills and you will discover a world of fun and whiskey.
Living up to the name, The Wild Rover serves up fun friendly banter, good drinks and whiskey. With a focus on Irish Whiskey and cocktails, guests are welcomed with a house shot concoction of Irish Whiskey and Stone's Ginger Wine. The Irish connection is apt, with three tap beers and one always having Guinness. Sausage and vegetarian rolls are a solid choice to line the belly, with corn on the cob, freshly shucked oysters and ploughman's boards rounding out the food.
The split-level venue has an open and warm feel to it, either perch at the bar or find a seat on one of the round tables or booths. The upstairs venue is a more rectangular shape and features a dart board on one side, with leather banquette seating opposite the bar. Downstairs has the bar against the back wall as the centrepiece with a striking jungle feature wall and beautiful copper bar top, two booths are near the front near the door and tables all around. Offering table service for drinks, a Ned Kelly statue guards the front door from hooligans and a menu written on old train timetables, there's something a little thrown together but all a little planned that works perfectly for The Wild Rover. The music here is fittingly up-tempo folk with some blues thrown in for good measure.
The cocktails here are approachable and delicious, and whilst a majority are whiskey-based, there's are some throwback classics and guilty pleasures, with Aussie craft beers also being a focus.
For those into whisky, and I mean really into whisky, you can opt to join the Rover's Whiskey Co-op, where members are invited to free monthly tastings with various whiskey brand ambassadors. Members receive a passport and can learn about 100 whiskeys, which can be checked off as they complete their journey of the dram.
Sure things might get wild, but hey that's all a part of it. Once you know where the door is, it's hard to resist.