Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and it can be tricky to find something a little special for the day, we’ve already let you know our top set menus in single locations, but there’s also the option to just roam around on a good ol’ fashioned food and drink crawl. Luckily Sydney has many dining precincts to do so, and this past week we had a preview of what King Street Wharf has to offer.
We started out at Wharf Teppanyaki with a quite delicious and refreshing Tokyo Slipper (Midori, Yuzushu infused sake and pineapple juice shaken and strained over yuzu sorbet) and were given a bit of show. With plenty of flambé – which our chef informed us was to impart the taste of fire (and to make him look cool) – we were cooked and served before our eyes delectable crab salad with avocado wrapped in Hiramasa kingfish and nori with secret sauce and topped with bittersweet soy glaze and smelt roe. I could have quite happily eaten that all night and yes you could taste the fire.
Shortly after it was off to the new Beer Deluxe for a couple of cold ones and a (second) starter. The boys here know their stuff. Executive chef Jake presented us with cool, fresh tuna tataki with soy mirin, pickled beetroot and mixed radish – a surprisingly sophisticated and polished dish for such a laidback venue.
Matching this quality, thanks to the recommendation of beer ambassador (yep, that’s a job you can do) Dan, was a very unusual but more-ish Sourpuss Raspberry Berliner Weisse by Annandale craft brewers Wayward, along with a more classic but just as intriguing Grapefruit Viking IPA from Ku-ring-gai’s Ekim Brewery just for fun. Throw in watching the sun go down over Darling Harbour from their balcony and it wasn’t hard to enjoy.
Mains were to be served at Manjit’s at the Wharf where we were warmly welcomed by the owner Manjit himself and his son Varun who, as the chef, talked us through the impressive special Valentine’s Day menu ($75 pp). Indeed the only thing more impressive than the attentive and good-humoured service was of course the food.
One of the touches of a good restaurant is surely that you feel like you gain new insight into or a taste of the country of origin of the food, and that’s what we found here. The Gol Gol Gappa – crispy pockets filled with potato, chick peas and pomegranate seeds with a spicy shot of masala water – we started with is, we were informed, a classic street food in India and an eye-opener.
The creamy Kochin Bug Curry was more familiar but immensely satisfying. The Baigan Takatak provided spectacle with the tall glass dome covering it being lifted to reveal a delightful, smokey eggplant curry. And to top it all off was a naan so large it would feed two people for a week. The light and fruity Indian Grover Zampa rosé served was nicely refreshing as was the Indian breath freshener mix offered as we left – a very unique and enjoyable touch.
Full and spoilt we walked along the buzzing foreshore to our dessert destination – Nick’s Bar and Grill. Having opened just before the Sydney Olympics in 2000 Nick’s is a mainstay of Wharf area having served seafood and grilled meats for over 15 years. On the ground floor a stone’s throw from the water we enjoyed a soft chocolate fondant oozing melted chocolate and served with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries paired with a bright Tempus Two Moscato. It was rich and indulgent in just the way you want after a special meal.
Having been treated to just a selection of the bars and restaurants on offer at King Street Wharf, any one of which we could easily have spent the whole night at, it’s easy to see the possibilities and quality on offer for Valentine’s Day. So if you’re still looking for a whole dining precinct to impress that special someone this Sunday you can thank us later!
Address: 21 Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9299 5290, [email protected]
Address: 9 Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9262 1727, [email protected]
Manjit’s at the Wharf
Address: 10/49 Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9279 3379
Nick’s Bar and Grill
Address: The Promenade, King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 1300 989 989