Easy Eight has quietly re-opened after closing in May for renovations. We take an in-depth look at the revitalised venue along with the new cocktail and food menu.
Easy Eight Sydney
The first thing you notice at the new Easy Eight is the wallpaper with giant mug shots of music icons: Presley, Sinatra, James Brown, Jim Morrison, Cash, Hendrix and Prince. Gone are the diner style booths near the entrance along with the cold and ultra dark tones of the previous Easy Eight. New lighting including a globe chandelier near the entrance gives the venue a warm and inviting feel.
Copper skirting lines the new bar top and the bar stools have been upholstered to add more comfort should you decide to perch at the bar.
The back bar now sits against exposed brick giving the space a lighter look and feel.
Three booths occupy the rear of the venue along with a central communal table that seats eight persons.
American Beer on Tap
Staying in line with the venue’s American theme, the Fernet on tap has been replaced by American beer on tap. On pour at the time is Samuel Adams Boston Lager and Blue Moon White IPA.
It’s not just aesthetics that make up the new Easy Eight. The cocktail list, while staying true to the Americana theme, is mostly new or a twist on the previous incarnation. The concept is to offer fun and well crafted cocktails while staying clear from classic and Prohibition style drinks. There is no singular spirit focus. The drinks are all accessible with interesting combination of flavours making Easy Eight “a bar for everybody”.
The Heartbreak Hotel ($19) is made with Banana rum, Pedro Ximénez sherry, chocolate bitters and garnished with candied bacon. The drink is a take on what Elvis had for breakfast, being bananas, bacon and maple. The drink has sweet, smoky aromas of bacon, and on first sip, you get a well balanced old fashioned style of cocktail, with delicious dark chocolate notes from the PX making it a true sipper. We suggest you leave the edible garnish of cooked bacon dipped in honey syrup and peanut butter to the end.
Golden Rough ($20) is a take on the Daiquiri made with Pineapple Rum, Dry Curaçao, house made lemon sherbet and plum bitters. Nowhere as sweet as it may sound, it’s super tasty and easy to sip with a flavour that balances rum, fruit along with citrus notes. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ordering another. It is delicious to the last drop.
Strawberry Letter 23
Strawberry Letter 23 ($20) combines barrel aged gin with wild strawberry shrub, white cacao and egg white. Subtle strawberry notes dance on the palate with white chocolate giving the drink a sweeter flavour for those who have a preference for sweeter cocktails.
If there is one cocktail that embodies the fun and Americana theme of the venue, it’s Blueberry Hill ($20). Butter vodka is mixed with blueberry vanilla shrub, fig, citrus, egg white and garnished with a pie crust dusted with cinnamon sugar. The butter vodka gives the drink a creamy mouthfeel while the combination of fruit and shrub work well to deliver a well made drink with a bonus edible garnish.
The food menu by Chef Hari Bhandari at the new Easy Eight is very approachable while taking on Cajun spicy flavours. You’ll find burgers, spare ribs and a hot dog if you choose but it pays to dive into the more creative dishes.
Deep fried dill pickles
Start with the Deep Fried Dill Pickles ($5), lightly battered and deep-fried, served with a light and creamy aioli drizzled in chilli and basil oil and a refreshing Samuel Adams Boston Lager ($9) that is robust and rich in flavour.
Lobster mac n’ cheese
The Lobster Mac n’ Cheese ($14) is back after undergoing improvement with generous chunks of tasty lobster with pasta in a cheesy sauce that is full on flavour. Rich, filling and satisfying, this ultimate comfort food comes with a deep fried lotus root.
Philly Cheese Steak
The Philly Cheese Steak ($18) is one tasty and filling serve of sliced tender fillet of beef with provolone cheese, green and red peppers, tomato relish, sauteed mushrooms in soft bread that’s been lightly toasted. It comes with shoe string fries and aioli sauce and makes for one satisfying and filling option. Pair it with Heretic Brewing Co. ‘Evil Twin’ American Red Ale ($14), a super hoppy beer with caramelised malt on the finish.
Cajun King Prawn Jambalaya
The go-to dish if we were to get choosy is the Cajun King Prawn Jambalaya ($18) with Peter’s fish, red cabbage and okra. Spicy and hot with charred lime adding a sweet citrus tang, the dish is big on flavour and packs a good measure of heat that lingers beautifully. Pair it with a glass of 2013 Collector Chardonnay, a wine with good minerality that works well with the heat from the dish.
The new Easy Eight is a warm, welcoming and friendly bar offering fun cocktails, a good selection of beer and an impressive international wine list. The food is big on flavour, well portioned and well priced. Easy Eight has done all the right things to make this your new happy place.
Easy Eight is open Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm to midnight with Friday lunch coming soon.
Easy Eight was previously reviewed here.
152-156 Clarence St, Sydney 2000
Hours: Tue-Sat 4pm-midnight
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