A lot can change in five years. Five years ago, Perth was living it up as Dullsville, with no interesting nightspots to speak of. Consequently, five years ago, a place like Sneaky Tony’s wouldn’t have existed. And five years ago, I couldn’t have spent an evening with my two fellow Sneaky Tonyeers without everything being frightfully awkward. Funny how things turn out. Perth is interesting, and I have friends. Win!
Now what, I hear you cry, is a Sneaky Tony’s? Why are you keeping us in suspense like this, Myles? Whyyyy? Well, worry not, dear reader, for I shall impart to you the secret of Anthony, the Devious.
The first thing that Sneaky Tony’s is not is a bar owned by our Prime Minister.
Cheap political jokes aside, Sneaky Tony’s harks back to the Prohibition era in the US of A. Apparently, the bar is named after a “Tony the Hat”, Southern Californian bootlegger of renown. For an idea how like a speakeasy it is, most of the official information about it pertaining to location is a red herring. To know where Sneaky Tony’s is, you need to be in the know – it’s a secret. Very sneaky indeed. Anyway, I arrived with my homedog, Lord P. We knew vaguely where it was, but walked around the building a couple of times trying to work out exactly where to find the entrance. Luckily, some trendy people in their mid-30s chose that moment to stride past us toward an unassuming door hidden next to some dustbins and milk crates. Knocking loudly upon it, we saw a shutter slide across as the doorman assessed his potential patrons. Deciding we were all fit to enter, he swung the door open and warmly welcomed us in.
As we walked into the bar, we beheld a long, dimly-lit room full of little tables and chairs, with the walls lined by more intimate booths. Hung upon the walls are various old prints, photos, and the odd taxidermy head here and there. It’s a shame smoking indoors is widely banned in WA, because what would have completed the picture was a swirling cloud of tobacco smoke mingling with the soft beams of light cast by vintage Edison-style bulbs so favoured by current fashions. Lord P and I had a few minutes to breathe in the ambience, but after the arrival of our third party, Comrade G, we got down to business. Sitting as we were in one of the intimate booths, the only appropriately pithy Facebook check in was, “Sneaky threesome.” This duly uploaded, we turned our attention to the menu.
Sneaky Tony’s is primarily a rum bar – the wall behind the bar is taken up entirely by shelves of bottles, and on one shelf alone there were 30 different rums from which to choose. The menu is divided by country of origin, and it’s surprising to see from where exactly one can obtain good rum. Unfortunately, all three of us had driven, so the harder stuff would have to wait until next time. I’m eternally on a quest to find the perfect Mojito, and considering the array of rums on offer, it could well take several visits. Their Old Fashioneds are apparently excellent, also. But I, never being one to miss an opportunity to emulate James Bond, opted for a bottle of Red Stripe lager, just one of Jamaica’s several smooth and easily consumable exports. Lord P chose a draught Pale Ale, and Comrade G a Brooklyn Lager from the Brooklyn Brewery. Feeling ready to take on the literary Man With The Golden Gun (the beer doesn’t appear in the film version, as you should already know), but also realising I was there to eat, I ordered a Ground Rump Cheese Burger, as did Lord P. Other items on the menu are Devilled Eggs, a Pulled Pork Slider, and a Chickpea Cheeseburger, and all the food is prepared next door in the kitchen of the owner’s restaurant, which I shan’t name for reasons of security.
Upon its arrival, I just knew this burger would be good. And it was. The patty was a thing of substance, and it was accompanied by plenty of cheese and sauce, making for a delicious combination that was, truth be told, also a bit messy. But I really wanted to eat another one, which is always a good sign. It was certainly something that filled me up but still left me wanting more.
One more drink later, accompanied by impressions of such celebrities as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Federal Education Minister Christopher “Fixer” Pyne, we decided it was probably time to adjourn. But I predict that it won’t be long before we again darken the door of Sneaky Tony’s, and I would heartily recommend you do as well. On Fridays and Saturdays you’ll need a password to get in, which can be found on their Facebook page. Word to the wise though – the address they give on the page is a lie. Have fun!
Somewhere in Chinatown
Northbridge WA 6003
Open Wed-Sun – 4pm-12am
Password required on Fridays and Saturdays
For other things I’ve written about food, click here.