The changing face of Darling Harbour’s foreshore has taken a big leap forward with new venue The Port, the latest venture from Oscars Hotel Group who are well known for Towradgi Beach Hotel and Wollongong’s excellent Pepe’s on the Beach. The latter is in some ways connected to The Port, Group Chef Michael Cook bringing many of the same dishes which have made the Wollongong hot spot so popular to the kitchen.
The former Margaritaville has gone through a complete overhaul to transform into The Port, a 1050-capacity venue that pulls on summer-appropriate inspiration from French coastal areas, translated by architect Lainey Richardson who is best known for Pepe’s as well as the highly celebrated The Henson in Marrickville and the iconic Annandale Hotel. Harbour-front cabanas should be enough to indicate the vibe here.
Past that harbour-front outdoor area will bring guests to the bar, where a sizable list of signature and classic cocktails have been put together to blend with the theme. Think mixes like the smoked sea salt margarita with Patron Silver, lime juice, pineapple, agave nectar, smoked sea salt and paprika, the st barts sour with Diisaroono, Makers Mark, egg white, lemon juice and black pepper, and several types of shared cocktail jugs. Young Henrys and Stone & Wood will be the superstars of the tap, and a list of wines have been tailored towards the seasons.
For the summer slick, those aforementioned cabanas can be used for bottle service with private hosts and a chef selection of canapes, just one element of the nightclub influenced party vibe that will take over The Port on weekends. They’ve managed a late night license, so The Port will also be pushed as one of Sydney’s newest late-night venues with a 2am closing time (4am on Fridays and Saturdays).
The Port will be heading into each morning from 10am with a stock of Will & Co coffee and a range of pastries for those that need to start their session earlier. Later in the day the produce-focused food menu is offered with a necessary seafood and meats slant, featuring the likes of hiramsa kingfish sashimi and seafood sampling boards (think deep-sea caught honey bugs and oysters) to rep the ocean, and charcuterie selections and pork short ribs for meat-lovers. There’s also some sourdough flat breads with various toppings like jamon, olives, chilli prawn, and buffalo mozzarella.
Address: 2-10 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-2am; Fri-Sat 10am-4am; Sun 10am-2am (kitchen open from 11:30am-10pm daily)
Images supplied. Feature image credited to Ash Marr, all other images credited to Esteban La Tessa..