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Follow the twists and turns of Sydney's backstreets and laneways to find an enchanting piece of Paris hidden in the heart of the city. Tucked behind the heaving artery of George Street, in the paved pathway of Ash Street, a moody and intimate wine bar beckons. Dim lighting plays on dark wood as hushed music accompanies the chatter of guests. Find a seat at the communal table under the grand chandeliers or pull up a cane chair in the pedestrian laneway and watch the world go by. Ash Street Cellar creates an intimate, Parisian atmosphere where guests can learn about wines of the world and satisfy cravings with a nibble from the tapas menu. Sommelier Franck Moreau has created a 270-strong wine list, cleverly categorised according to nose, palate and colour. Elegantly dressed waitstaff scale the dark wooden ladder to pluck out the perfect drop from their internationally focused collection.
The intimate atmosphere is complemented by the sharing of meals from Lauren Murdoch's Mediterranean-inspired tapas menu. Try the buffalo mozzarella with baked green tomato for a zesty combination of flavours; or for something a little more substantial, feast on the grilled lamb cutlets with braised eggplant, or the ever-popular grilled chorizo with parmesan-crumbed artichokes, mint and lemon. End the feast with something sweet -the tart of the day is the perfect contender. The bistro's tapas menu has remained the same since day one, proving the worth of a fresh, simple catalogue, but come summer expect some tweaking of dishes to include more seafood and lighter fare. Ash Street Cellar is the perfect escape for a leisurely meal or a quick indulgence of coffee and petit fours. With 26 wines offered by the glass and a no-bookings policy, pop your head in Monday to Friday to indulge in a little slice of Paris.