Thursday, June 6, 2013

Last days of Vivid Sydney & Citibank Pop-up Bar by The Meat & Wine Co

Vivid Sydney 2013, Sydney Opera House
This year’s Vivid Sydney Festival has been the biggest one yet: the fifth annual celebration of lights, music and ideas that gets Sydneysiders out into the wintry nights – no easy feat. And you've got five more nights to catch it.

Vivid has expanded into Darling Harbour this year with the Vivid Aquatique lights and water show, in addition to its original Circular Quay and The Rocks home.

Vivid Aquatique in Darling Harbour

Vivid Aquatique
As part of Vivid’s expanded geography, Citibank has led the charge in Darling Harbour with a pop-up bar in Cockle Bay, nearby Meat & Wine Co. – a Citibank Dining Program restaurant.

The Citibank Pop-Up Bar is positioned for prime viewing of the new Vivid Aquatique festival addition, with seating, and wine and Aquatique showing every hour – it’s a great winter’s night out on the town.

Citibank Pop-Up Bar in Darling Harbour
On launch night I was invited by Citibank’s Marcus Marchant to check out the pop-up bar which is mostly under cover from rain with the expressway arching above.

Open and free to the over-18 public, the Citibank Pop-Up Bar features snacks like mini beef, steak or vegetarian burgers and haloumi skewers, as well as premium Australian wines.

Citibank Pop-Up Bar
Citibank cardholders also enjoy priority entry and a free glass of wine on arrival, in addition to their usual perk of a free bottle of wine every time they dine at Citibank Dining Program’s participating restaurants.

The open kitchen at Meat & Wine Co., Darling Harbour, Sydney
For a more filling evening, venture over to the lavishly-renovated Meat & Wine Co. that’s gotten a classy, modern steakhouse feel since the last time I visited.

The kitchen pass
In the downstairs section there’s now an open kitchen with sandstone tops as well as a snazzy, long private dining room where we were dining.

300g Monte Select rump steak and chips (grain-fed 120 days)
Given the venue I couldn’t go past a bit of meat with a glass of First Creek Shiraz, with the kitchen’s beefy char smells proving irresistible.

My rump steak was probably a tad over my requested medium-rare, but with great flavour in the meat and basting compensating for the chewier bits.

We had a selection of sauces shared at the table with the creamy garlic being my unexpected favourite. Meanwhile, the chips were perfection; thick cut, crunchily golden on the outside and perfectly fluffy and potato-ey within.

Lamb ribs and chips
The table filled with finger bowls and relatively classy black bibs for those who ordered beef or lamb ribs: an undoubtedly hands-on affair.

The smaller racks of lamb ribs, basted in a marinade of lemon, mustard and herbs, were tender, delicate things, and as seems always the case with lamb ribs, a little on the fatty side.

Side salad
Side salads are completely necessary with steak and chips, with the sprout, leaf and capsicum combination being completely polished off across the table.

Vanilla crème brulee
Winter desserts are an easy win, especially if they crackle or ooze. The crème brulee had a perfectly burnished toffee top, hiding smooth, vanilla-scented custard that left one wanting more.

Chocolate and pistachio fondant
The warm white chocolate and pistachio nougatine-topped chocolate fondant was my pleasure, alongside vanilla bean ice cream quite literally perched on a shortbread biscuit - one sure way to stop the ice cream from sliding all over the plate.

Chocolate and pistachio fondant insides
With one strike of the spoon, molten chocolate lava came pouring out – at which point I could probably have ended the meal happily. Although a tad floury, the warm fondant paired with ice cream was the ultimate end to a Vivid winter night – well, before another stint at the Citibank Pop-Up Bar for Vivid Aquatique, that is.

See more photos of Vivid Sydney Aquatique and Light Walk on my Facebook page.

Food, booze and shoes dined at The Meat & Wine Co as a guest of Citibank Australia, with thanks to Liquid Ideas.

The Meat & Wine Co on Urbanspoon


Annie said...

omg i really gotta try the Pop up bar before it disappears! hope it's still there this weekend. all of those dishes look so delicious and drool worthy

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

Some great shots, tina! We wanted to visit the pop up bar last Saturday but it was just too cold, windy and rainy that we didn't want to be so miserable. Gahhh. everything looks great at meat wine and co - its def changed since i was there last!

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day! GREAT photos, LOVE the Sydney Opera House photo too!
LOVE the concept of these pop up restaurants too!
Cheers! Joanne
What's On The List

Priscilla @ said...

Some great shots on vivid! I still haven't had the chance to check it out. That chocolate lava looks great, it would be worth the extra flour ;)

Shanshan Lam said...

need to visit this whilst vivid is still on! great shots as well and those ribs look mean and delicious!

Tina said...

Hi Annie - Hope you got a chance to check out Vivid and the Citibank bar!

Hi Tina - There were a few nights better in than out during Vivid, for sure! Meat & Wine Co have definitely picked up their game.

Hi Priscilla - Hope you got to see some pretty lights...!

Hi ShanShan - Ribs always look mean and delicious, don't they?

eric said...

There's nothing better to boost a cold Sydney winter night than some good food and a great lights display. Looks like pop-up bar might really have the right combination going for them there!


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