Name: Toby Robinson
Venue: Bistecca – Cosy Italian bar dedicated to serving classic cocktails and T-bone steak
I’m a Sydney-sider through and through, being born and raised here. Growing up I always had a massive affinity with food, drink and being a host. I enjoyed making cocktails for everyone to try. I started off wanting to get into the kitchen, but found I craved having that social aspect. I loved taking the creative drive and putting it into something different, and that’s where I fell into bartending.
I started my first job as a glassy at Sokyo, a very high volume Japanese restaurant in The Star casino. From there I was put through the ringer, eventually working my way up to being a junior bartender. Working in that environment for a solid year, I grew confident in my abilities and was launched into my next bartending gig at Firedoor in Surry Hills.
I was really able to hone in and cement my skills at Firedoor, as the food menu changed daily. I was constantly altering the cocktail list to match the vibe of the food. It took thinking on my toes to a new level, especially because it was practically me trying to do everything within the bar. It was a great experience, with a lot of responsibility.
I’m currently working at new bar and restaurant, Bistecca on Bridge St in the city. It’s unashamedly Italian and owned by hospitality duo James Bradey and Warren Burns who you might know from bars like Grandma’s, Wildrover and Wilhemina’s.
The highlight of working at Bistecca is having a solid team to work with, especially after being on my own for so long. Having legends that share the same ideas as me, really wanting to make it the best is the greatest part about working. Plus, we have eclectic personalities which makes the environment that much more memorable.
If I had to think of a specialty I think it would be creating cocktails, and making those that come into the bar feel at home. I know how to balance a drink and make it taste great, and I really like taking care of people. I like to make it feel like they’re getting their value out of our product by making the right drink for the right person.
As far as the future goes, I’d love to own my own place someday. An intimate bar where I can keep it simple, nail it and do it on my own terms. I want to be able to wake up and do it for me.
Meet me in person:
Bistecca – Sydney: 3 Dalley Street, 2000
Photos: Dominic Loneragan
If you’d like us to come meet you or someone from your team – please email firstname.lastname@example.org