Update: the beer garden installation is now finished, meaning the Opera Bar is back to normal. Yet while the fake grass has been rolled up and the faux Grecian statues and synthetic butterflies have all flown the coup, the bar still has a great harbour view and good live music – check out our Opera Bar review here.
The word decadent comes to mind when thinking of the temporary beer garden installed on the southern end of the Opera Bar. Sure, the perimeter fence partially blocks the harbour view (although you could argue this adds to the decadence) but the trees, Grecian-style statues, fake grass and synthetic snakes and butterflies make up for it.
Ok, that last sentence might not sound that flattering – and let’s face it, the garden is far from being organic (to be honest, it’s hard to tell what is and isn’t fake) – but it’s still fun, quirky and a refreshing change from the usual concrete walkway. In fact, after a couple of beers you could even squint your eyes, ignore the tourists taking photos of you from above, and pretend this was an English secret garden (you might need more than a few beers, but you get the gist).
Unfortunately the beer garden (which the organisers call The Best Beer Garden in the World) is only open to the public for a couple of days, so you have to get there by this Sunday (October 25) – and even then you need to cross your fingers since it only holds 100 people. The garden is sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro and so the only beer available is Peroni Draught, which is now available in Australia (up until now we could only get Peroni in bottles) – although as a fan of Peroni this doesn’t exactly worry me. For those not familiar, Peroni is a pale Italian lager with a gentle flavour that’s not as astringent (this might not be the correct word to use, but we thought it would sound impressive) as the average Aussie beer. In other words, it’s pretty easy to drink.
Food is also available from the bar, and a popular snack seems to be the sweet potato crisps that are served with a sweet chilli sauce, although my favourite is the green olive dip.
Bar Zine has been told the garden may open again next year and hopefully for a longer period of time. Until then, if you feel a like a romp amongst the plastic it’s best to get down here while you can.
Opera Bar beer garden, Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House. Phone 9247 1666.