Tokyo Bird team announces new Chinatown cocktail bar

Jason Ang (formerly Gilt Lounge, Sokyo) and Yoshi Onishi (formerly Stitch) from Surry Hills yakitori and cocktail bar Tokyo Bird are opening a new whisky and cocktail spot in Sydney's Chinatown.

Located in a laneway behind Quay Street, Banchō Bar will be markedly bigger than Tokyo Bird, seating 100 guests.

The focus will not only be on cocktails, but whisky too. The back bar won't be beholden to Japanese whisky either, this time they're sourcing the spirit from Scotland, Australia, Taiwan and beyond. “But we do also have Suntori's ultra rare Hibiki 35 year old,” says Onishi.

To encourage regulars to crack the top-shelf drops and return for more, Banchō Bar will also have “bottle lockers” on the mezzanine, where guests can store unfinished bottles.

“Bottle keep programs are common in Asia,” says Ang. “We'll have more than 30 locker spaces for customers' bottles.”

The cocktails, while still leaning towards the classics, won't stick so closely to the Japanese methods and mixes, rather it will acknowledge its location in Sydney, taking flavours from all corners of Asia.

“Sydney's Chinatown is so diverse with Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai offerings – we'll be showcasing influences from all these cultures in our cocktail program,” says Ang.

The name Banchō (pronounced barn-chor) translates from Japanese to mean an 'uncouth fighter' with a sense of honour, or as the team describes it, “the leader of a group of delinquents”.

“It's also the name of one of our customers' pet dog,” says Ang.

Banchō Bar is slated to open later this month at 10 Thomas Lane, Haymarket, Sydney.