Bars NSW

Goldfish Hunter Valley, Pokolbin

Mention the Hunter Valley and the mind immediately associates it with one of Australia’s best loved wine regions. But when you’ve had your fair share of Hunter wine tasting, there is a bar and lounge where you can chill and relax with a cocktail or two.

Goldfish Hunter Valley is the type of bar you could liken to a cocktail oasis in the middle of wine country. You’ll find it at the Tempus Two precinct located at the corner of Broke and McDonalds Road in Pokolbin next to the Smelly Cheese Shop.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Goldfish Hunter Valley

A spacious interior with dark wood panelling and a central bar, the venue exudes warmth even on a chilly and rainy day. On a Saturday afternoon, the place is heaving with the ebb and flow of patrons with the energy behind the bar accommodating the influx happening en masse. Some are popping in for a quick drink, others are settling in for cocktails at any of the cosy nooks, tables or banquettes. There’s even a large group of women on a hen’s party and another group dining on a long table.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Central bar

The bar food menu offers a selection of food plates to share from the free range duck liver parfait with sour cherry jelly, cornichons and brioche ($14) to the more substantial Grasslands Scotch Fillet with hand cut chips, burnt onion puree, wild mushroom and sauce bordelaise ($38).

Goldfish Hunter Valley

From the Deli comes a selection of local cheeses with recommended wines to match. You’ll also find a choice of pizzas ($20 to $28) such as the Wild Mushroom with confit garlic, pecorino and truffle oil to the more spicy chorizo with pickled jalapenos, Spanish onion, manzanilla olives and smoked pepper aioli on top. The full menu is available 12-3pm for lunch and 6-9pm for dinner with pizzas available at all times.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Goldfish Hunter Valley

Scoring a couple of seats at the central bar has its advantages. You can peruse the drinks menu while checking out the range of spirits on the back bar and watch the cocktails being shaken, stirred and served.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Alan Penrose, Bar Manager

The cocktails range from the Classics with the likes of a Manhattan, Mojito, Daiquiri and Corpse Reviver, Champagne cocktails, a range of sours and carafe iced tea and punches.  The list of spirits continues with a sizeable range of rum, tequila, whisky and whiskey as well as liqueurs and digestives, including some rare finds. In short, you could be in any of Sydney’s cocktail bars and not in regional Australia.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Tommy’s Margarita

Tommy’s Margarita works a treat with Excellia Reposado Tequila, lime juice and agave syrup with an orange salt rim.

Goldfish Hunter Valley

The Manhattan hits the right spot with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Martini Rosso, Angostura Bitters and served with a Morello cherry.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Dániel Molnár

Chatting with Dániel Molnár behind the bar, he suggests a cocktail and off the menu.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Southern Bloom

The Southern Bloom is one of his creations. The cocktail is made with Talisker and Yamazaki 12 whiskies, 1883 syrup, vermouth and Peychaud bitters. The drink is well-balanced, you get the smokiness of the Talisker at first followed by a dry and savoury finish.

Goldfish Hunter Valley
Southern Bloom with Duck Liver Parfait on Brioche

Goldfish Hunter Valley offers a welcome respite from wine tasting. The bar serves a great range of cocktails with a welcoming and friendly vibe. Whether you drop by for a quick drink in the afternoon as many do or stay for a while longer, it is the place to end up after a day in the Hunter.

Goldfish Hunter Valley

Cnr of Broke & McDonalds Rd’s
Tempus Two Winery, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
T: +61 2 4998 7688
Open 7 days from midday until late


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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.