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Stitch Bar

October 31, 2011

The recent small bar explosion in Sydney means that bars have to work hard to differentiate themselves from the crowd. I know we haven’t yet reached the heights of Melbourne’s theme-driven insanity (Croft Institute anyone?) – but it’s still fun checking out each bar’s new hook… (or gimmick, if you’re feeling ungenerous!)

Stitch Bar

Stitch Bar is a small bar in Wynyard – and if the hook isn’t already evident from the name, you’ll probably guess it once you spy the great antique Singer sewing machine in the bar’s tiny corridor. Walking into Stitch bar is a bit like walking into Narnia… the door is narrow and very easy to miss (it’s right next to the ‘Cupcakes on Pitt’ that is confusingly not on Pitt St but on York), and once you step inside you’re facing a row of suits!

Stitch Bar
Yeah not business people… I actually mean suits.

I can’t help the effect would be more charming if it weren’t for the muscley looking dude leaning inside the doorway, who barks at us for IDs. I’m surprised a small bar has to hire security at 6:30pm on a weeknight, but once we step inside we see the place is PACKED. It’s my friend V’s birthday tonight, and she thought Stitch would be a cool place for some of our girl friends to meet up for some casual drinks and hotdogs. Unfortunately she didn’t think booking would be necessary at a bar on a Wednesday night – but one glance around the room proves us wrong. The collection of small tables in Stitch’s miniature rabbit warren of corridors, booths and small rooms are either full or booked.

Stitch Bar

Stitch is ostensibly a bar – but is run a bit more like a restaurant. We almost make the faux pas of nabbing a free table, before being reprimanded by a waitress and being told that there’s a queue and that we’ll be seated when a table becomes free. Oops. It’s a tiny place, so we decide to stand near the bar to wait, but are told by another waitress to move and not to block the server area. Oops again!!

Finally a few people get up, and as they leave – they kindly tell us that their seats are now free. We spy the free seats nervously, not wanting to make another faux pas of seating ourselves – but after waiting around for a reasonable amount of time with no waitress in sight, we decide to take the seats.

FAUX PAS AGAIN!! It’s only when we get to the free seats that we realise that the people who left were sharing a booth with a pair of German girls, who stop in the middle of their deep and meaningful conversation to look up at us in confusion. I apologise and start to walk back to the queue, when I see the waitress is finally back and has begun to seat the people who had been standing behind us. Gah. Seeing that we have a much larger group (of 6), the girls generously offer to go find a smaller table for 2 so they can have privacy, and us – the larger booth. But although they ask the waitress to be moved at the next possible convenience, I think the waitress forgets. It is a pretty busy night after all, and she seems a bit run off her feet!

Eventually we do end up sharing the booth with the girls, and I hope we weren’t too annoying!!

In the safety of our booth, we can finally relax a little – and survey the menu. The Stitch bar menu has a collection of really fun options ranging from gourmet hotdogs to some interesting sounding burgers. The harried waitress from before takes our order, and seems quite stressed. I don’t know if it’s by her choice or by Stitch Bar policy, but she doesn’t write any orders down – preferring to memorise them. Having a terrible memory myself, this would be super impressive to me, except the illusion is ruined when she has to run back and forth a few times to confirm parts of our order that she forgot or got incorrect. (At one point the German girls next to us order a Pinot Gris, and are understandably a bit confounded when a Pinot Noir is brought to them)

Stitch Bar

Hot dogs are all the rage these days it seems, and it’s hard to go past the combinations offered at Stitch. All hot dogs are served with hand cut potato chunks, which are served with roasted garlic and rosemary sea salt.

I get The French Poodle ($17) – Toulouse style sausage, red wine and garlic with Tarago River Gippsland brie, pickled pear and dijon mustard.
Stitch Bar
The French Poodle ($17)

It’s delish – the pork sausage is nice and fatty, but sweetly offset by the pickled pear slices and dijon. I’m in love with the potato chunks. They’re just so crispy and tasty, and the portion is more than generous!

Stitch Bar
Mack Ducky Dog ($19)

A few of my friends choose the Mack Ducky Dog ($19) – which is a duck, orange and pistachio sausage with Foie gras de canard and truffle sauce. It’s delicious, but the truffle/fois gras combination is incredibly rich.

At around 8pm, the place starts to empty and after another one or two misunderstandings with the waitresses (honestly… one of the most awkward nights ever!), we can finally transfer to a larger table out in the open. Relief! Poor German girls! I think we definitely outstayed our welcome.

We decide to order some desserts – we see they serve Pat & Sticks icecream sandwiches on the menu, which we all looove. And for only $6 too – which is superb value, considering that they’re $5 when you buy them directly from Pat & Sticks. They take about 1/2 an hour to come out from the kitchen (including the time the poor waitress takes to mix up and reconfirm our order again), which surprises us a bit since we know they’re a preprepared product… but when they come out of the kitchen, they are SUPER PIMPED OUT:

Stitch Bar

All that for an extra dollar!! Definitely the highlight of the night.

(edited to add: I just noticed on the menu I downloaded off their website today… the price for the Pat & Sticks icecream sandwiches has gone up to $9 now, which suits the amount of work put in. Though to be honest I would happily eat them out of the plastic packet they come in.)

Reading back what I wrote, I feel kind of like a Debbie Downer… and I think I’m usually pretty positive with my blog posts. And it’s a shame because I thought the food was pretty good, and not terribly expensive (even if the highlight of the night was a preprepared icecream product). But the service and the extreme awkwardness of the night makes the thought of returning not terribly attractive. To be fair, we had a very large group of 6 people, and walked in off the street. If you decide to go – I would definitely recommend booking!

Stitch Bar
61 York St
Sydney 2000

Monday to Tuesday 12pm – 12am
Wed – Fri 12pm til 2am
Saturday 4pm til 2am

Stitch on Urbanspoon

16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2011 9:59 pm

    These things happen but honestly I think I would be really upset, it’s such an awkward position to be in ;____;

    • October 31, 2011 10:14 pm

      Yeah I felt quite bad as it was one of the places I suggested when my friend was looking for somewhere to celebrate her birthday :/ Kind of sucky to have a not so great experience on a special occasion!!

  2. November 1, 2011 10:01 am

    ooh I see they replaced the curly fries with the potato chunks – awesome! Love the pimped out Pat and Sticks ice cream hehe

    • November 7, 2011 10:38 pm

      Oohh curly friesss! I didn’t see them on the menu! I wonder why they changed?

  3. November 1, 2011 11:12 am

    What an embarrassing and awkward experience, but apparently totally worth it 🙂

    • November 7, 2011 10:37 pm

      Yeah I thought the food was great!! Hopefully if I go back the service will be a bit better 🙂

  4. November 1, 2011 12:06 pm

    I recently went to Stitch Bar too! We went for my book club meeting, and the link to the Shipping News was tenuous at best!!! Lol!

  5. November 1, 2011 5:44 pm

    Oh I just read the rest of your post- how awkward- sorry you had a bad experience. We had great service, but I should note that we had a booking for one of the rooms, so that might have been the difference….

    • November 7, 2011 10:38 pm

      Haha yeah it was mega awkwards. The little rooms did look very cosy, and I bet if we had a booking it would have been handled much better! Shame!

  6. November 9, 2011 8:34 pm

    Great pics for that dark setting. I love that small bars are becoming all the rage in Sydney – the only problem is that everyone wants to go and there isn’t quite enough to go around (like Melbourne) just yet.
    And frankly, the Croft Institute scares me…

    • November 14, 2011 5:50 pm

      Yeah there’s so many great bars in Melb… and I love that if one is too full, you can just go to a different one in the next laneway!

    • November 14, 2011 5:53 pm

      Oh and I turned the brightness on my iphone screen way up and used it to light the food hahaha… what a weird sight I must have been.

  7. November 11, 2011 2:59 pm

    That sux that your experience wasnt too great. I idnt have a massive issue with the service but we got there bang on opening. Although the waitress did give me the wrong dawg and blame me for it.

    • November 14, 2011 5:52 pm

      Oh that doesn’t sound too good!! Not very nice to blame you for her mistake! It’s a shame their service isn’t quite up to scratch, everything else was quite good I thought.

  8. February 21, 2012 2:44 pm

    You are not a Debbie Downer! that review is spot on. I’ve been to stitch a few times and there was only one occassion it wasn’t ‘awkward’ as you described – it was at midday a couple of days ofter they had started opening for lunch and no one really knew about it. The place was mostly empty and the service was ok.

    Stitch is overrated. That’s not to say it’s no good, it just can’t keep up with its own hype.


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