Assembly cocktail bar has been quietly shaking and stirring some of the country's best cocktails for some time now, and they have the trophy cabinet to prove it. Those in the know have headed to this cosy little corner of Kent Street for years, and they've been keeping it quiet - but now that there's a new restaurant next door, the secret is going to get out (sorry about that).
Owned and run by the Assembly team with a menu created by chef Nick Pulcher (of Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta fame), the food is modern Italian, from cheese-of-the-moment burrata with heirloom tomatoes, Spanish onion, roasted capsicum, olives and basil to house-made black ink tagliolini sautéed with crab meat and prawns. There's also a wood-fired pizza oven - somewhat remarkably, the CBD's first - which will dish up pizzas for bar patrons as well.
There's just one catch - due to a licensing delay, the restaurant can't pour drinks from its solid wine list - a mix of Italian varietals and Australian drops - until February. But you can always go for a pre or post dinner cocktail at the bar until then.
Assembly is open now for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and - hoorah! - will be taking bookings for any number of guests from February 17.