Sunday 1 April 2018

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay

I've walked past Sydney Cove Oyster Bar several times on my way to the Opera House and it always looked quite popular. It has a great view being right across from the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Matt and I head here for a lovely lunch to see if the food matches the gorgeous views.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has such a relaxing decore, all the tables are outside. The harbour water gently crashes against the wall which immediately makes me more relaxed as I look out to the Harbour Bridge and the big cruise liner. It's moments like this I remember why my blog is called Weekend Food Escapes. I literally feel like i'm in another world from my corporate life.

Given it's the weekend, this calls for a cocktail. Matt orders the Kiwi Fling and as I'm having such a jolly time, I've forgotten to take a photo of the cocktail menu. My Watermelon vodka based cocktail has a name but I can't remember what it is. My watermelon cocktail is refreshing, sweet and very easy to drink. I like the rose petals as well. The Kiwi cocktail is not as sweet but it's still quite nice to drink. Cheers to the weekend.

They have quite a range of oysters on offer including variations of oyster shots (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and different fresh oysters per region including pacific oysters, rock oysters and angasi oysters. I see many tables nearby order oysters. Matt is severely allergic to oysters so we look at other dishes to order.

Our first entree that we share is the raw King Salmon ($23) with lemon, basil, pickled kohirabi and dashi. The salmon is rolled up in little morsels of very well balanced zesty citrus, sweet and subtle salty flavours. This is really tasty and perfect to eat in the warm weather as it's light. I'd highly recommend if you like your raw fish. The sauce really brings the dish together.


My favourite dish of the day is this Cured King Fish ($24) with radish, green chilli, citrus vinaigrette. The Kingfish dish has my favourite combination of flavours including zesty citrus, chilli and a light vinegarette together. 

The kingfish is unevenly cut in size and minor variation in thickness but that doesn't detract from the taste which is the most important part.The green chilli is very subtle and is not spicy. It's absolutely delicious to eat. I'd highly recommend this dish to order. It's my favourite!!

For textural contrast, you could try the Burrata ($22) which is a large, creamy cheese which comes with a roasted capsicum, chilli jam and oregano. The crispy bread with the chilli jam and that creamy burrata cheese perfectly adds to the palette after eating the kingfish.  The price point is slightly high on this dish in comparison to other venues but it's a nice dish to enjoy while looking at the views. 

I also try one of their new dishes which is the Warm Cod Brandade with squid ink cracker ($23).  I really like the texture of the squid ink cracker as it's puffy and soft with a slight crunch. The brandade is of french origin which is made of salt cod, potato and olive oil. It's a like a cod potato mash which is quite moreish. The brandade is warm so this dish may be more suitable for those who do not like raw fish.

Next up are our mains so I order a glass of light, fresh pinot gris while Matt goes for a 4 Pines Pale Ale. The wine wines always taste a little bit better with seafood.  I'm really enjoying the food so far. My food feelings are feeling very satisfied so far.

For mains, Matt goes for the King Salmon ($40) with crumbed witlof, blue cheese and toasted hazelnuts. The salmon skin was crunchy and the flesh is succulent, flakey and satisfying.The witlof adds for textural contrast and is enjoyable to eat. Matt loves hazelnuts but is unsure whether this fits in with the dish but agrees it adds another flavour profile. The hazelnuts would add a more earthy element. Matt couldn't locate the blue cheese in this dish and I'm not sure you need it. 

I order the signature dish at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar which is the Prawn Linguini ($38). The linguini is served up with tiger prawns, capers, lemon, brown butter and espelette pepper. It's such a simple pasta dish but is incredibly delicious. The fresh linguini pasta and the fresh prawns are the key to the success of this dish. There's a decent serving of prawns in this dish. I slurp away at the linguini and sip at my pinot gris. What a winning combination. I'd definitely recommend.

As a side, I order some steamed broccolini, eschallots, capers ($12) to add some vegetables to the meal. The eschallots are a nice addition to the vegetable. Remember to look after yourself folks. Well by now, I am absolutely stuffed and thoroughly satisfied. I look out at the Sydney Harbour Bridge again and think about how grateful I am to be in Sydney. 

I notice many other tourists also eating at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar and everyone looks so happy. There are people feasting on large platters, taking photos of one another, everyone just looks really relaxed and happy. 

Matt insists on ordering some dessert. He ends up eating 95% of all three desserts. We start with the chocolate mousse ($15) which is served up with raspberry coulis and toasted hazelnuts. The chocolate mousse was a nice dark chocolate mousse. The chocolate thin discs add for textural contrast but it is the mousse that is the dominant flavour which is quite rich. This is a dessert for chocolate lovers.

Matt's favourite dessert is the The Tiramisu ($15) which served up with short bread. The Tiramisu is a classic and was really nice. The addition of the short bread biscuits adds another textural and flavour composition. It's crunchy and sweet. I'm told the Chef is of Italian descent so this would be highly recommended given the tiramisu is an Italian dessert.

The third dessert is the Lemon Bavarian ($15) which has sweet pickled pear and yuzu gel. The Lemon Bavarian has a dominant lemon flavour with the addition of the yuzu brought it to another level. It was moderately sour with the yuzu but you can control your sour level as the yuzu is on the side. I personally love yuzu flavours so I eat a large dollop with the lemon bavarian.

Summary: Overall, the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar Restaurant definitely delivers delicious food to match the stunning views. I would suggest booking if you are looking for a table closer to the harbour and the Sydney Harbour bridge. By 12:30pm, it was quite busy. 

My favourite dishes would be the King Fish and raw King Salmon which really had a nice balance of complex flavours. The desserts were also really nice! The price point may be a bit high on some dishes but this is typical of venues with that view and prime real estate in Circular Quay. You also need to consider that seafood also calls for a premium price. This is definitely a venue for date night or if you are looking to impress some foreign visitors with great views as well as delicious food.

Price: Entrees are $20ish, Mains are $36-59, Dessert is $15ish

Location: 1 Circular Quay East, Sydney

Opening Hours: 

Monday to Friday 11am to 10:30pm
Saturday 11am to 10pm
Sunday 11am to 9pm

Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests of the venue or their representatives. All photos, opinions and words are my own.
The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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