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Pop-up CBD bar a paradox in both name and nature

BAR REVIEW Bar Paradox Where: downstairs at Supernormal, Flinders Lane, CBD When: until April 24

Bar Paradox is a pop-up venue adding to the many attractions bringing people back to the CBD during the second half of the Comedy Festival.

Open from April 11 to 24, the project is spearheaded by Orlando Marzo, crowned World Class Bartender of the Year in 2018.

Paradox is an intimate and pensive venue. The low lighting and quiet sound create a delightful space for conversation to flow and focus to remain on what is being presented.

The food and drink on offer are hard to fault. Their signature drink The Bramble is a delightfully sweet yet tart and refreshing cocktail based on Tanqueray Royale blackcurrant gin.

Pop-up CBD bar a paradox in both name and nature

Cocktails at Bar Paradox. Picture from Orlando Marzo Instagram.

The same can be said for the rest of the drinks on offer from Paradox. The cocktails in Marzo’s signature line – Loro – are each unique in flavour and well blended and balanced. All cocktail are $24.

As you’d expect from Supernormal, the snacks pair faultlessly with the beverages. Standouts are the bite-size but moreish pork menchi katsu rolls ($14) alongside the prawn wontons ($6) and a serving of Sydney rock oysters ($5 each).  

Unfortunately, service was poor. We were seated quickly, but it took a long time to get our orders in and food came out slowly.

Giving the benefit of the doubt that there may have been a backup in the kitchen, we ordered a second round of cocktails. Thirty minutes later, when the drinks had still not arrived, we paid and left. There was little response when we said our cocktail order never arrived.

Pop-up CBD bar a paradox in both name and nature

Bar Paradox at Supernormal. Picture from Orlando Marzo Facebook.

There are issues everywhere with lack of hospitality staff, but on this Wednesday night it overshadowed the experience that Bar Paradox was attempting to create. It wasn’t just the slow service – our table was not properly cleared upon arrival, waitstaff passed an almost comical number of times before asking us for our initial order and once our second order was in, no one checked to see if it had been delivered.

Bar Paradox has unfortunately lived up to its name in a way I doubt it was aiming for.

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