Matt Whiley of Scout / Credit: Supplied

Celebrated for his outlandish ideas and unique concoctions, European bartender of the year Matt Whiley has taken to Australia. Behind Scout, his own lauded drinking den born from the city of London, the creative has rejuvenated the food and beverage hotspot of Sydney’s Surry Hills for a fresh watering hole. Bringing in enthusiasts of a quality drop, the hospitality expert has recruited fellow English colleagues and new talent from Australia, for what he has dubbed, “part science laboratory, part bar”.

Finding a suitable home in the top level of Surry Hills’ famous The Dolphin Hotel, the experiential scene will see an exotic and distinctive treatment to food and alcohol. Teaming up with the hotel’s head chef Monty Koludrovic, the extensive drinks menu will sit alongside an offering of refined bar snacks and finger food. Inspired by the ethos of unique service experience and sustainability focussed creativity, diners can expect the lines blurred between cocktails and wine. Soon enough with the introduction of Scout in the Australian scene, Sydney-siders will become familiar with beverages like banana “wine” (bananas are roasted, juiced, and finally fermented with wattle seed and macadamia – producing a rich banana, chocolate, nutty, fruit wine) and Vodka Soda made with green ants and strawberry gum.

“I’ve been distilling a host of things like Pepperbery, Strawberry gum, watermelon, wattle seed and wax leaf. We will also feature our home-made fruit wines which we’ve become famous for in London, something which I have developed over the last 5 years,” Whiley said.

Seemingly unorthodox, the experimental drinks menu is a glimpse into what is happening overseas. With Scout Sydney, budding bartenders and hospitality lovers will also benefit through the Australian outpost as a platform for training. “The lab at scout will feature state of the art equipment that we use each day for all cocktails”, says Matt, hoping to foster Scout’s approach to drinking amongst emerging bar talent in Australia, “I want the bar and laboratory to be a training ground for Australian bartenders.”

Credit: Supplied

The long haul jump across the globe comes after Whiley’s work with prolific hospitality icon Maurice Terzini, last year when he brought Scout to Icebergs Dining Room for a one-day event. “I have a particular take on cocktails where I like to blur the lines of what a drink can be. I’m really excited to share this with the Australian industry and community” said Whiley.

Newly opened with its own distinct look and feel, bookings are now available Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm with walk-ins also welcome. For more information and to reserve your table, visit the website here.

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