Uncle Ming’s- Cool Sydney CBD small bar

Cool sydney bars come in all shapes, sizes and themes – we love small bars and one that fits the bill is Uncle Ming’s Bar in York St, Sydney.


sydney cool bars - uncle mings bar - entrance york st

Entrance – Uncle Ming's Bar


Now the Uncle Ming’s story goes – Uncle Ming, one of Shanghai’s most notorious figures,- started a life of crime as a policeman collecting protection money from local opium traders. He became so powerful that, by the 1920’s, he had to leave China. Uncle Ming settled in Sydney and set up a community place for the local Chinese expat community to meet and have drink. So Uncle Ming’s Bar is one the site of this community hall.


sydney cool bars - uncle mings bar - york st sydney

Uncle Ming's bar


Many small Sydney CBD bars are down a flight of stairs off the street – this time it’s 55 York Street.  Once inside, you’re enveloped by dimly lit alcoves, red lanterns, a warm old Shanghai bar with pictures of the past everywhere – the bar with stools is off to the left of the main area with a view to the kitchen through a large round window straight ahead.  Check out the cocktails – their own specials, like Bruce Lee – sloe gin, vodka, peach and ginger beer and some takes on classics like a spicy margarita.  The barman suggested trying a margarita with chilli bitters and sprinkled with few chilli flakes – and not half bad. He says he likes using spices in cocktails and there’s a few like this on the list.


sydney cool bars - uncle mings bar - york st

Spicy Margarita – chilli bitters


We also had to try a classic martini – Uncle Ming’s stock a gin we haven’t seen many places before – Professor Cornelius Appleforths Bathtub Gin made using the traditional method of infusing. Result – gin that’s big on juniper and spice and light on botanicals – perfect for a dry martini.

There’s a wide of range of Asian spirits – of course, sake also Soju/Shochu – a spirit that hails from Korea and Japan – it’s made from barley, rice or sweet potato. Try out Baiju – a Chinese Strong Spirit that’s made from many different grains and aged for many years.  But we were impressed by one of the widest and most diverse range of whiskies – Japanese – Nikka and Suntory, Taiwanese, Bourbon and Rye and Scottish/Irish. Many a long winter’s evening could be spent here with a drop or two of your favourite single malt whisky.


cool sydney bars - uncle mings bar - entrance york st

The bar at Uncle Mings


To eat, in keeping with the Chinese theme – dumplings – Pork & Chive, Pork Dim Sim, Scallop Gow Gee, Prawn Dumpling, BBQ Duck Buns and a few more to stave off late night hunger.


sydney cool bars - uncle mings bar - york st

Cooking up a storm


Uncle Ming’s Bar – a little bit old Shanghai (or at least a Sydney version of old Shanghai), and on the nights we’ve been there the crowd was a cool easy looking inner city group with a friendly vibe, sharp service and music from past decades to make you want to tap your  boots to.  All adding up to a cool Sydney bar.



Uncle Ming’s Bar

55 York St, Sydney CBD 2000



Uncle Ming’s Website


Uncle Ming�s on Urbanspoon








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One Response to Uncle Ming’s- Cool Sydney CBD small bar

  1. Grace

    Love sochu, dumplings and those inner city bars that are down a flight of stairs. I might have to try this place…What are the prices like?

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