Given the prolific dynamism of Sydney’s food scene, it’s hard to believe that there’s still room for a ‘first’ of anything. Not true, as proven with the recent opening of The Rabbit Hole, the city’s first organic tea bar. Located in the inner-city neighbourhood of Redfern, the bar, a former industrial site, has been transformed by designer Matt Woods, who has neatened its rough edges and softened its masculine interior by polishing up a series of original details, such as herringbone strutted timber ceilings. At the core of its design is the Japanese art of Kintsugi, a process of joining broken pottery with gold, which has been applied to a selection of bowls displayed atop turned oak timbers, and is also seen in the liberal use of crushed ceramic tiles throughout. Tempering these dramatic details is a humble, yet complementary, backdrop of banquette seating, granite surfaces and a warehouse shelving stand.
The organic bar has been designated a ‘coffee-free destination’ by co-owners Corinne Smith and Amara Jarratt, and, as if for emphasis, a chandelier made entirely of tea bags by Chilean artist Valeria Burgoa looms large over diners as they sip and sup. On offer is a selection of tea that veers from the expected —green, mint and lemon — to the experimental, such as the raspberry and thyme green tea shrub soda, with probiotic fruit tonic. These are all offered as pairings alongside a breezy and emphatically Aussie menu that includes dishes such as avocado topped toast with edamame, sprouts and rooibos dressing.