The dining options at Sydney Airport’s international terminal have seen a noticeable upgrade over the past few years, to the extent than many eateries stack up well as alternative to some of the less-appealing business class lounges.
Nestled behind the Heinemann Tax & Duty Free store, adjacent to gates 8-10, Bridge Bar is one of T1's two Luke Mangan-branded outlets and offers a slightly more upscale feel compared to Mangan’s Coast Café and Bar.
I can’t quite agree with Bridge Bar’s description of itself as having “an inviting lounge-like feel” – it’s more bar stools, benches and low tables – but during my mid-morning visit I spy quite a few guests with the easy familiarity of regulars.
Cafe manager Xenofon Varnavas tells me that many business travellers who make weekly trans-Tasman trips are repeat customers, as they prefer the variety and quality of Bridge Bar’s offerings to their designated airport lounge.
The seasonal menu is built around morning and all-day dining.
Available until noon, the morning selection doesn’t stray from Aussie cafe fare – there’s toast, fruit salad, cereal (roasted nut granola), and the inevitable smashed avocado (on rye toast with asparagus and a soft-boiled egg). I opted for the tasty and hits-the-spot Bridge BLT.
Things get more serious past noon with a half-dozen tapas items such as sumac spiced pork, smoked ham and chicken pate – plus more substantial ‘larger plates’ including spicy chicken wings, smoked salmon and an antipasto board.
The coffee is a smooth well-rounded Double Roasters blend, while the drinks menu stretches to three pages of beers, spirits, cocktails and two dozen varieties of Australian wines – many of these being lesser-known names from Orange, Mudgee and New England rather than leaning on the Hunter Valley, South Australia and the Margaret River.
If you’re looking to catch up on some email while you eat and drink, you’ll find AC power outlets at the counter which runs around the bar and USB sockets dotting the higher work benches.