Gnome Surry Hills

Gnome. You may know it as a café in Surry Hills serving some of the best coffee in Sydney along with tasty brunch and lunch dishes. But as the sun sets, the intimate venue along Crown Street is undergoing a little transformation.

Gnome Surry Hills
Gnome, Surry Hills

Gnome has recently begun incorporating whisky into their menu and is building on a range of impressive single malts that satisfy connoisseurs. Well-priced at $10 a glass, the mantra is to get people to come in and experience the whisky at an affordable price range.

Start with the Jimmy MacTaggart cocktail ($14), a variation on an old fashioned made with Isle of Arran 10 yo single malt with orange bitters and a dark cocoa mist. Hold the glass to your nose and you get a rich aroma of chocolate followed by citrus notes before the flavour profile of the whisky lingers on the palate.

Jimmy MacTaggart cocktail

Tempted as you may be to try another of the same, the Gnogroni, an Aperol Negroni made with Tanqueray Gin, orange bitters, Antica sweet Vermouth and Aperol instead of Campari. The drink is a little sweeter at first sip but as dilution begins the flavours unravel.

Gnome Surry Hills

The food menu consists of appetising dishes designed to be shared or enjoyed on their own. The dishes also takes a whisky focus such as the whisky pickles with baba ganoush and Persian fetta ($12). The carrots are pickled with Glenmorangie single malt and vinegar. Crisp, crunchy and a good accompaniment to a cocktail, the vegetables have a lingering whisky flavour that makes it delicious.

Gnome Surry Hills
Whisky pickles

The baby beetroot tart with triple cream cheese and beetroot jam ($10) is a tasty vegetarian option with sweet flavours from the jam and a little nuttiness from the cheese.

Gnome Surry Hills
Baby beetroot tart

The crab and white fish with lime served with avocado and toasted sourdough ($14) is zesty, fresh and summery dish that packs a lot of flavour.

Gnome Surry Hills
Crab and white fish

And saving the best till last, the Whisky Kilpatrick oysters ($15) are a taste sensation. Four freshly-shucked Sydney Rock oysters accompanied with 15ml Ardbeg 10 yo, which you add via a dropper, controlling the amount of smoke. The smokiness of whisky and bacon is a delectable combination.

Gnome Surry Hills
Whisky Kilpatrick oysters 

Single malts are on rotation with a new dram featured each week. Try the Auchentoshan Three Wood, aged in Bourbon casks, Oloroso sherry casks and Pedro Ximenex, a well balanced, smooth, make it a smooth sipping whisky goes well with tart. Benromach 10 yo comes from a small distillery that uses an inland peat with has no saltiness or maritime characteristics, matured in selected oak casks. The unpeated Bruichladdie 10 yo is almost creamy with a lemon curd character, sharp citrus and buttery on the finish.

Gnome Surry Hills

While Gnome is embracing a whisky focus at night, it remains a place you can casually walk into for a coffee, a bite to eat or try their signature Blood Mary. With cool jazz tunes, the occasional Gotan Project song, you could be in a café in Montmartre with a casual and inviting vibe, where you can even engage with patrons at the table beside you. Or check out the cheeky gnome giving you the bird.

Gnome Surry Hills
Cheeky gnome

We’ll let you in on a little secret. Keep an eye out on Gnome as it develops and evolves over the next few months. We can’t give everything away yet but as it expands into what will be known as Arcane, there will be a personal collection of 400 whiskies from part time owner and night time operator Dan Woolley, World of Whisky ambassador who is renowned for opening multiple venues around Sydney. And with that, there is reason to be excited.

Gnome Surry Hills

Gnome is featured in Sydney’s top whisky bars and our guide to Sydney’s Top Breakfast & Brunch Spots

Gnome Espresso and Winebar
536 Crown Street
Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Ph: 02 9332 3191


This article is posted on - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2017.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.