A seafood and oyster restaurant doesn't get much more appealing than the outdoor Sydney Cove Oyster Bar at Circular Quay, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge as a backdrop and the Sydney Opera House in the yonder distance.
|Stefano Lubuana Brut at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay|
Even on a grey day, one can't complain about sparkling wine on the harbour, and what better accompaniments than freshly shucked oysters and a ray or two of sunshine through the clouds.
|Oyster shots: margarita (left) and sake (right)|
The salt-rimmed tequila-strong margarita went down tough while the sake shot also had seasoned wakame seaweed and soy sauce for a savoury finish with chew. The oyster gets a little lost amid the flavours and strong alcohol while the lemon wedges are apparently for sucking on post shot.
|Assorted Sydney rock and Pacific oysters|
|Oysters with granita|
The bright citrus flavours of the granita ranged from quite sweet to aptly sour, forming interesting flavour combinations with the oysters. I think best pairing was the lemon ice on a Pacific oyster.
|Oysters with cucumber and white balsamic|
The juliennes of cucumber offer a clean platform for the oyster while the white balsamic gives the minerally mouthful both a sweet and tart hit that's so very appetising.
|Oysters and sparkling wine|
Aside from the must-do oyster and shellfish part of the menu, the entrees and mains are all incredibly enticing.
|Zucchini flowers filled with ricotta, pinenuts and parsley served with lemon aioli|
This seafood-free version has an impressively crisp batter and is filled with ricotta cheese, pine nuts and parsley, and are just lovely with a bit of lemon and sunshine.
|Farmed Per Sé Spanish sturgeon caviar|
The 2.5 gram serving comes on a minute mother of pearl caviar spoon with a bit of toast and crème fraiche, as is a traditional serving manner we're told.
|Per Sé caviar with crème fraîche on toast|
The caviar is not as salty as I expected, and quite briney although the creaminess and carbohydrates negate that to a point. I could definitely learn to like caviar.
|Sydney Cove fish pie with blue eye trevalla, smoked trout, roasted leek and fennel|
|Sydney Cove fish pie innards|
|Bouillabaisse with saffron-infused tomato broth, blue claw yabbies, scampi, |
king prawns, mussels and fish fillets
Piled up with seafood, the scampi and yabbies most prominently, the deep red sauce just beckoned diners to dive in with fingers or the sourdough bread served alongside.
I think I also remember a couple of varieties of fish in the bouillabaisse, while the only thing missing was some rouille on the bread, although that's just nitpicking a great and also generous dish.
|Wild mushrooms, tarragon and truffle oil|
After a fair whack of food, especially seafood, and a couple of glasses of sparkling, dessert was fairly far from my mind.
|Petit fours plate|
There was an appropriate amount of swooning at the chocolate covered marshmallow, decorated with nuts and freeze dried berries, while the paper-wrapped fudge made its way into my bag for home.
A good couple of hours later, I'm sure I could have lingered even longer had the sun been out completely. It was everything you could want from the perfect weekend seafood lunch: a bit of sunshine, a bit more sparkling and oysters on the harbour - and it would seem Sydney Cove Oyster Bar is just the place for it.
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of Sydney Cove Oyster Bar.