Opera Bar, Circular Quay

Sunday, May 31, 2015

 It’s easy to forget about the alluring magnificence and splendour of Sydney Harbour when you actually live in Sydney. Iconic locations like Circular Quay and The Rocks are often overlooked for other unique, culture-rich suburbs considered to be more hip and less crowd-infested. But a visit to the harbour itself presents something of a homely comfort; a reminder that to live in such a city that boasts glamorous water views and buffeting sea winds is an unappreciated pleasure in itself.

The Opera Bar is a well-known member of the Circular Quay dining scene, its loud chatter and lively music unmistakable when making a trip down to the Opera House.

The venue has undergone a makeover after having been taken over by Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan late last year, with the menu expanding from bar food and familiar crowd favourites to a delicious variety of tempting finger foods, fresh seafood, gourmet Charcuterie and gourmet mains.

Most seating is outside to make the most of the photogenic harbour view. Don’t be deterred by the onslaught of cooler weather, as nifty heaters provide comforting warmth against the cool sea breeze when the thermometer drops.

Open steamed buns ($14)
Asian finger food at its best - hefty chunks of lightly battered soft shell crab are nestled inside white, fluffy open steamed buns, the handful wedged in an appropriately shaped, wave-like stand. Umami kimchi and mayonnaise add a creaminess and crunch, with a touch of hot spice. It’s a little messy but nevertheless a glorious bar snack to savour.

Calamari ($14)
Nibbles of tender, salt and Szechuan peppered calamari come with handy toothpicks alongside a wedge of lemon and coriander tendrils. It’s hot and spicy, with both crispy tentacles and larger, fleshier pieces to please everyone.

Chips ($9)
Classic chips are crunchy and fluffy inside, oh-so-addictive dipped in sweet and tangy ketchup.

Margherita Pizza ($18)
Margherita pizza has a thin base dotted with tomato halves, cooked to a golden crisp with bubbled cheese. Rather than the cherry tomatoes retaining their fresh flavour, they’ve shriveled to concentrated, charred bursts.

Quesadilla Pizza ($20)
Rather than being a quesadilla-flavoured pizza, as some might assume, this resembles more quesadilla than pizza – 4 crunchy quarters of thin pizza dough filled with spicy lamb mince. Spoon on some of the guacamole and sour cream that arrives on the side and your mouthful evolves into a fiesta of flavours. 

The Opera Bar is open as a cafe on weekdays and also as a breakfast and late night venue, too. The mains menu features more sophisticated non-sharing options such as grilled kurobata pork and Cone Bay barramundi, as well as options for kids and a whole menu of raw, cured and smoked seafood to enjoy while you take in the fresh breeze of the Quay. It's an ideal place for a casual day out, catch up with friends, or just a drink and a nibble.


Opera Bar on Urbanspoon

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  1. Definitely one of the best views from a bar in Sydney. The calamari looks awesome.