Remember the ABC shop in the QVB? It’s now Reign, a glam and gleaming champagne parlour (yes, a parlour, darling) decked out in Insta-friendly tones of gold, dusty pink and marble. You would never know that the bar was once a display area for Dr Who, Bananas in Pyjamas and Wiggles DVDs.
The Reign concept provides cocktails, wines and nibbles in a luxe and decidedly feminine setting. The emphasis on walk-ins (reservations are only available for groups of five or more) seems like a clever way to easily accommodate city shoppers. Its late night trading hours (until 2am Thursday to Sunday) are worth remembering.
Champagne Districts tasting flight $75
NV Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Cuis, NV Nathalie Falmet Brut Cuvee,
NV Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut, NV GH Mumm Grand Cordon Brut Cuvee
Bubbles include sparkling wines and champagnes by the glass. Otherwise you can go all out with a tasting flight that includes thorough tasting notes ($55 for sparkling, $75 for champagne).
The food menu varies depending on whether you’re dining at brunch, lunch or supper. A dedicated nibbles menu – which includes an eclectic mix of meatball sliders, wagyu beef dumplings and an okonomiyaki burger – applies at all other times.
Bacon and egg roll, kipfler potato, scarmoza, watercress pesto and bbq sauce $21
We dine at brunch, when offerings are as light as bircher museli or as heavy as pork fried rice with king brown mushrooms. The bacon and egg roll at $21 seems a tad steep at first, but the huge hunks of deep fried kipfler potato add a heavy hit of carb-loading satisfaction.
Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, salmon roe and pikelets $24
Far more dainty is the smoked salmon with pikelets. There’s been some obvious effort with plating but it feels somewhat forced, especially with the salmon rolls that are tightly compressed and a touch too chilled making it difficult to appreciate its flavour. We could do with a lot more creme fraiche too, but otherwise enjoy making little salmon and pikelet sandwiches. The table is divided over the relevance of lemon jam with this dish – I end up using this on my crumpets instead.
House crumpets, cultured butter and preserves $12
I’d only expected two crumpets for $12, so am pleasantly surprised when three arrive. They’re thick and soft although a little on the stodgy side of spongy. Accompaniments include butter and raspberry which doesn’t help when I immediately get a craving for honey and butter instead. Surely every crumpet desires to be drowned in honey? It’s like Vita Wheat needing Vegemite. Pavlov effect indeed.
The food offerings may be a little patchy but I expect that won’t deter its target audience. And there’s much to be said for a spacious bar with comfortable seating and great views in the Sydney CBD.
Reign at the QVB
Queen Victoria Building
Level 1, Shop 48 (Druitt Street end)
55 George Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8023 7608
Monday to Wednesday 11am-12am
Thursday to Friday 11am-2am
Saturday to Sunday 10am-2am
Related Grab Your Fork posts