The scene: There’s really no better place to unwind after a day in the city, whether for work or pleasure, so grab a cocktail, have a seat and indulge in music you can’t look away from. Harpist/looper genius, Jake Meadows, graces the basement on a regular basis, a perfect compliment to the moody basement setting.

The grub
: There’s nothing better than a little variety, so rest assured there’s no bad choice to be made on The Spice Cellar’s menu. The chorizo bruschetta ($10) with Persian fetta, romesco sauce and onion relish is sweet, savoury and spicy all at once. Chat potatoes ($7) with lime & chilli sour cream are simple but oh so deliciously effective. The absolute highlight was the oven baked mushroom, pecan & brown rice mini barrels ($10), a mixed bag of flavours that you would never think would go together, but, oh yes – they do. For the most literal dish on the menu, try the painted salad ($9), rocket, roast capsicum, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate, corn and blueberries served on an artist’s palette with a paintbrush to distribute the smoked chipotle and maple syrup dressing. Very much a masterpiece.

%TNT Magazine% paintbrush

Behind the bar:
A barman with a Master of Fine Arts in Mixology, some of the best cocktails in the city and a drink to suit your favourite tapas dish. You’re missing out if you stick to bottled beer, so man-up, tell the mixologist your flavour and enjoy a fruity cocktail ($18). My favourite was the Reality Check served with a fist-sized chunk of ice.

Bill please: Team up with a buddy, share a few tapas plates, a couple of glasses of wine and walk away only $25 worse off each and very, very satisfied. Remember the best tapas on offer are actually the cheapest. Go for the special: three plates of tapas and two glasses of wine for $35. Also a DJ Degustation on Friday evenings includes five courses of tapas dishes with specially paired drinks $55 per person.

Verdict: An unexpected delight and a culinary massage for your taste buds. Everything is sensational.

58 Elizabeth Street, Sydney.