Outstanding Harbour views and international performances have an eat & drink support cast
August 12th, 2015
Sydney Harbour is certainly one of the most beautiful aspects of Australia’s preeminent city. Dotting the shoreline around Circular Quay at the heart of the city are a number of spectacular venues, and just a little stroll further around the harbourside, Pier 4 on Hickson Road, the spectacular home of Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Dance Company juts out into the water. But the renovated old wharf houses more than these world class performance companies. Unassuming from its street entrance, down the timber decking past the performance spaces is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.
At the very end of the wharf, The Theatre Bar, with its exposed beams and cathedral ceiling, wide timber board floors, expansive windows and open air balconies and 180 degree water views to Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, provides drinks and dining before the shows and at intervals. Yet this versatile bar and restaurant, unknown to even some Sydney locals, also provides a terrific casual space for anyone to drink and eat all day – from coffee in the mornings to supper late at night.
Drink Sommelier Samantha Payne has created an extraordinary list that features locally sourced Australian wines from organic or bio-dynamic vineyards that have been made with minimal intervention to display true varietal strength. Across sparkling, white, rose, red and sweet wines there is a good representation of the list available by the glass: Ross Hill ‘SHED No 8’ Sauvignon Blanc (Orange, NSW) and Well Mannered Wine Co. Cabernet Merlot (Mudgee, NSW) are all fine examples.
Often before a show, a cocktail or two is in order and The Theatre Bar delivers a choice of six signatures and can shake or stir any of the classics. Signatures range from fruity and sweet like the vodka Apricot Breeze, to the smooth and elegant tequila-based Velvet Rose. From the classics, think a crisp Martini or a rounded Old Fashioned. Of course with views like these, a cocktail works a treat for any occasion on any night of the week.
Australians love an ice cold beer particularly on a summer’s evening and The Theatre Bar has a range of local brands including 4 Pines and Coopers by the bottle, and on tap, a selection from the Sydney brewery of the moment, Young Henrys.
And, of course from first thing in the morning, there are also coffees and teas available.
Eat The versatility of The Theatre Bar is enriched by a range of dining options including small plates and boards from 3pm until late that are well suited for sharing. The choice can be as simple as a snack of marinated olives or spiced maize kernels. Value for money dishes such as vegetarian option Fried cauliflower, tahini dressing, paprika or Burrata with roast capsicum, tomato, Jerusalem artichoke and basil can also work well as an individual starter or light meal. Within the winning small plate options the seafood star is a tasty Deep fried calamari, lemon & smoked paprika aioli. The Dip and Ploughman’s boards are recommended for two but with other dishes are happy feeding a larger group.
From 5pm large plates such as Crispy falafel burger, tahini, eggplant and coriander & chia in a soft milk bun come on to the menu. Local seafood shines again with Linguine with king prawn, tomato, chilli, garlic, parsley and pangritata or a Sydney pub food favourite, Beer battered flathead & chips with malt vinegar. The Theatre Bar follows a little bit more of a pub food trail with its Wagyu Beef Shank Pot Pie, puff pastry lid, mash and peas, and Slow-cooked Pork Belly with crackling.
For any of these eating and drinking options, order at the bar and find cutlery to help yourself on the table, from 9.30am until late Monday to Friday, and from midday on Saturdays. The Theatre Bar service is warm and friendly, the space and food and drinks is casual, and the views, well the views are at their Sydney best both by day and by night.
The Theatre Bar at the End of The Wharf
The Theatre Bar : selected dishes
The Theatre Bar : signature cocktails
Original copy and photography from Sydney contributor Rebecca Varidel