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Most of my posts are written about places in or around Sydney CBD but this time I decided to venture out to the lower North Shore.

Unlike most wine bars that are located up quiet side streets or hidden away in lane ways, Barrel Bar & Dining is located on the consistently busy stretch of Military Road - So it cannot be missed.

After seeing many photographs of the dishes being produced and reading all of the positive reviews, I knew I had to visit and see for myself.

They opened their doors early last year and have since become quite famous for their colourful and flavoursome dishes. They have a large range of wine, beautifully presented cocktails, soft drinks, beer and spirits.

For each dish served they have a recommended wine which is sourced from local and international producers- So for people who enjoy wine, but don’t really have any proper knowledge on what you should eat while drinking it, they’ll give you some guidance on what combinations will really get your taste buds goings, to bring out the rich and delightful flavours from each individual dish.

From Sunday to Thursday the restaurant offers a BYO option and upon request, they will recommend you a dish that will best suit your wine.

As you enter you will notice a number of large wooden wine barrels, some stools and seating which would appear to be for a more causal drink and catch up.

The bar is quite long and the room is dim. There are low hanging industrial light fittings and candles on each table. On the wall at the far back there is an open wine cellar, which really brings to light that this is in fact also a wine bar, not just a restaurant.

As you walk towards the back you will see the large courtyard dining area, which is directly underneath a lit canopy of artificial ivy. The courtyard can be booked for functions and can seat up to 60 people.

Their menu features a contemporary take on classic Australian cooking.

Each dish we were served was presented in a way that will not be forgotten. We decided it was best to try a range of different dishes along with the recommended wine. These dishes were shared between two people.

Here’s what we had -

Meal - 12 hour cured Queensland king prawns, vanilla & coffee bean jelly, lemon, thyme, coriander, pine nuts ($18)

Wine - 2014 Goblsberger ‘Lossterassen’ Gruner Veltliner, Kamtal, Austria

Meal - Sautéed seasonal mushrooms, lemon garlic puree, parsley sponge, juniper berry powder, mushroom bark, mushroom pangrattato ($17)

Wine -2013 Tanjil Pinot Noir, Gippsland, VIC

Meal - 24 hour slow cooked carrots, smoked carrot puree, pickled heirloom carrot, salted honey comb, crisp carrot tops ($17)

Wine - 2012 Domaine Pichot ‘Coteau de la Biche’ Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France

Meal - Slow cooked beef cheeks, confit leek, turnip, pureed parsnip, braising sauce ($31)

Wine - 2010 Hairy Arm Shiraz, Sunbruy, VIC

Cocktails – Lychee Peachy & Blood Diamond (All Cocktails on the menu are $18 and classic cocktails are available upon request)

As you can see from my images, the pictures I had seen online that brought me here, did not lie.

With multiple layers of texture and an explosion of flavour, each dish was very different to anything I had ever eaten before – They were all beautifully presented and were divine in taste.

The winners for me were the Sautéed seasonal mushrooms and the Slow cooked beef cheeks.

If you’re ever around the Lower North shore and you’re looking for a unique dining experience where you’ll be treated like a guest in somebody’s home, you need to put Barrel Bar & Dining on your to do list.

For further information or bookings please see below

Barrel Bar & Dining 3, 362 Military Rd, Cremorne NSW 2090 (02) 9904 5687

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