Perhaps it says something about Sydneysiders that we would put an institution such as The Opera House bang on the harbour foreshore, as if culture alone wasn’t enough of a drawcard to lure us in. Then again, as a proud Sydneysider I probably shouldn’t complain, especially as it means the Opera Bar has one of the most stunning views of any bar in the world (although the Blu Horizon bar comes close).
Because it’s located on the lower concourse level, which is just above the harbour’s water level, you can sit metres from the waves while staring across at the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.
Tonight both the outside area (which has its own bar that focuses on beers and wine) and the inside bar are packed but despite the mass of customers I still get served quickly, due to the large number of bar staff who are friendly despite the peak hour crush. I order the Double Yum, which I realise isn’t the most masculine of cocktails but sounds good – it has Bombay gin, sour grapefruit liqueur and pear liqueur shaken with pear puree and pink grapefruit. I try to tell myself it’s the type of cocktail Hemingway would have enjoyed.
The pear and pink grapefruit go well together and softens the flavour of the gin, making this easy to drink. It’s not as sour as I would like it to be but it’s a good cocktail that I would definitely recommend.
Aside from the view, one of the Opera Bar’s biggest attractions is the live music (usually jazz, funk or soul), which starts every night from 8.30pm and 2pm on weekends. You can find out exactly who’s playing by checking out the Opera Bar website (listed at the bottom of this review).
Food is also available – in the past I’ve had good beer-battered fish and chips here, with other meals ranging from pizza, pasta and oysters to veal saltimbocca and roast chicken.
Opera Bar, Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House. Phone 9247 1666 or see the Opera Bar website.
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Opera Bar?