Coast, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

Cockle Bay Wharf at Sydney’s Darling Harbour is one of many tourist attractions around the CBD. Casual to fine dining restaurants, cafes, shops, the Sydney Aquarium and The Star (formerly The Star City Casino) are just a few attractions with water views of the bay.

We are here at Coast tonight to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It is a fairly large restaurant with al fresco dining that overlooks the bay. It is also the site which housed the famed Ampersand, led by Tony Bilson in the late 1990s.

Dining room, Coast, Cockle bay Wharf

Dining room, Coast, Cockle bay Wharf

It is a balmy summer evening and the wine list looks quite impressive with notable Australian reds, Italian chianti, mouth-watering pinot noir from Central Otago in New Zealand and a good variety of whites and sparkling wines.

2010 Belgravia riesling $38

2010 Belgravia riesling $38

We settle for a 2010 Belgravia riesling from the cool climate wine region of Orange in the central tablelands of New South Wales.

I am truly impressed with some of these wines from a lower profile wine growing region like Orange. Not only are they great value, some of these wines can rival the heavyweights of the Clare valley in South Australia.

Seared scallops, green beans, tomato and salsa salmoriglio $28

Seared scallops, green beans, tomato and salsa salmoriglio $28

Mysaucepan is a great fan of scallops and needless to say, I manage to guess her entree choice of seared scallops, green beans, tomato and salsa salmoriglio. The scallops are seared to perfection – slightly brown outside and succulent inside. They are well accompanied by the salsa salmoriglio with its dose of a flavoursome and aromatic extra virgin olive oil.

2010 Belgravia riesling

2010 Belgravia riesling

The 2o1o Belgravia riesling exhibits hints of citrus with a crisp dry finish. I love this style of dry whites because it is flexible in matching food. It is also priced very reasonably as I believe this would retail for around $20 in the shops. In addition, this wine will gain more complexity with a few years of good cellaring.

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

I skipped entrees and decided on the grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon.

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

Grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon $45

The scotch fillet is grilled to medium-rare as requested and sliced into strips ala French cafe style. Although I always prefer my steaks whole and not pre-sliced, this steak passes the test for taste and flavour.

A small pinch of pink salt flakes and black pepper is really all I needed although the horseradish mascarpone is a delightfully light and creamy alternative to my usual preference of Dijon mustard. A squeeze of the subdued juice of the grilled lemon on the meat rounded off a dish that I would recommend to steak and meat-lovers.

Pork belly with roasted apple and calvano nero $38

Roasted pork belly with apple and calvano nero $38

What’s the fascination of pairing of scallops and pork belly at restaurants? A contrast of different sweet dimensions around melt-in-your-mouth textures of delicate seafood and tender meat?

Mysaucepan’s pork belly with roasted apple and wilted calvano nero has the flavours but unfortunately, this dish is let down by the chewy and inedible pork rind. It is a little disappointing when that square of pork crackling remains on the plate when it should always be the highlight of the dish itself – lending its crispy texture to contrast with the succulent meat.

Restaurants should never make this elementary mistake and whenever this chewy pork rind happens, my mind invariably floats to my own pork belly recipe that always yields crispy pork crackling.

Dining room, Coast, Cockle bay Wharf

Dining room, Coast, Cockle bay Wharf

The highlight of the evening was not dessert but the fireworks display which comes on at 9pm every evening at Darling harbour. Diners from within the dining room, us included, invariably gathered at the open air roof top terrace to watch the fireworks display mid meal.

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

It is always a great spectacle to watch fireworks display anywhere around Sydney because the water views and harbour precinct provides a magnificent backdrop of sailboats that is quintessentially the city’s trademark.

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Fireworks display at Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

Coast, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Coast, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney

So dear readers, do you have a favourite restaurant around Cockle Bay Wharf or Darling harbour?

Related posts by ChopinandMysaucepan:

Coast & Roof Top Bar
The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour
Sydney 2000
Tel: +61 2 9267 6700

Business hours:
Lunch Tuesdays – Fridays 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Dinner Tuesdays 6.00pm – 9.30pm

Coast on Urbanspoon

Note: Coast will pay for your parking by deducting the cost from your bill for any dinner reservation. Simply park at the Darling Park carpark (enter at 201 Sussex street) after 5.30pm. Prepay for the car park upon entry and present your ticjet at the time of bill payment after dinner at Coast. This offer is valid only for dinner reservations Monday to Saturday and not valid on public holidays or events at Coast.

Coast is also on the Entertainment Book where one complimentary main course is given when another main course of equal or greater value is purchased (up to $50 limit).

Coast and the Roof Top Bar are available for corporate and private parties Saturday, Sunday and Monday lunch and Sunday and Monday dinner.

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21 Responses to Coast, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour

  1. Baby Sumo says:

    The steak looks really yummy…. we love a good steak!

    Love the photos of the fireworks too :) Happy anniversary to u both.

  2. Hotly Spiced says:

    That is so disappointing about the pork belly. I don’t know why the chef would send it out if the rind was rubbery instead of crisp. They could surely have stuck it under the grill or something. But that steak looks delicious and I love the sound of the horseradish mascarpone. Happy Anniversary!

  3. I went to Coast for lunch a while back and we really enjoyed it. I always wished that the pork belly crackling was crunchier!

  4. Celia says:

    Happy Anniversary!! How nice that Darling Harbour turned on the fireworks for you! :) And I’m with your fair lady, if there are scallops on the menu, I usually have to order them!

  5. Sissi says:

    Happy Anniversary! Excellent review, as always. I see the “lower profile wine growing regions” rule applies the same way in Australia as in European wine-growing countries.

  6. Gourmantine says:

    Happy anniversary! I’m completely hooked on the idea of horseradish mascarpone, that’s one combination I’ve haven’t tried before!

  7. Myam myam myam. :) This looks so wonderful, and I get quite the appetite for scallops right now. :) Also – Riesling! :D I often find it tastes better from slightly cooler wine regions. And of course the soil plays a role in it. My favorite German Riesling (didn’t taste much other Riesling, though) is the one from the Mosel river, where it grows on slate ground and expresses a wonderfully cool and mineral quality.

    I also loved the fireworks. Fireworks are only allowed on NYE over here, but last night, someone fired a couple oof rockets that shed their starlight hail showers across the sky over me. It was a happy coincident I was outside then so I could see them. It made me very happy. :)

  8. Happy Anniversary to you guys! Wagyu steak is cooked perfectly! Oh so sorry pork belly wasn’t cooked right. I only like crunchy texture and I really don’t like rubbery kind. Which is the reason why I wasn’t into kakuni (japanese braised pork belly) type of dish for a long time. I wish I live there so I can use your restaurant reviews for our dining out resource!

  9. Kimby says:

    Chopinand, your post was like frosting on the proverbial cake of my day — what FUN — what FOOD — what a SPECIAL OCCASION! (Sorry for shouting… sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of me…) :) Happy Anniversary to you and “mysaucepan!”

    Your interior shots allowed me to admire the windows and light fixtures in this restaurant (beautiful ambience), plus the variety of offerings, both in food and wine — excellent write-up of your experience! (It made me smile thinking of you taking photos as each dish was brought out — foodies and their cameras in dining establishments are de rigueur now, aren’t they?!)

    I also agree with you on the pork belly — take it from someone who lives in the “South” (although not as far south as you are) — cracklin’s done right are a delicacy to behold! Really an exceptional evening (that STEAK!) and a fitting end with the fireworks display. Congratulations!

  10. Shame about the pork belly rind, your recipe link looks great and really fail safe. Apart from the pork the restaurant looks great. GG

  11. wow, crazy cool fireworks shot!! I do not know the area, but I DO know that I’m recently in love with mustard with my steak. Usually I go for balsamic glaze, but mustard is stealing my heart these days!
    Heidi xo

  12. Happy Anniversary to you both -loving the fact the fireworks came out for you!
    As for the food, that pork belly looks delicious! I almost wish I could reach into the screen for it

  13. Carolyn Jung says:

    A meal that produces fireworks? You can’t get better than that. ;)

  14. Charles says:

    That steak looks amazing… not just the steak though – the whole restaurant!! Really cool, and the fireworks in the harbour too – what a fun evening :)

  15. Row says:

    Happy Anniversary! That steak looks delish! Btw, I have bookmarked your pork belly recipe for future use… thanks! :)

  16. Ann says:

    Everything sounds just delicious – except for the pork rind. It’s too bad it wasn’t crispy, crunchy…because I just love it when it is! As always – lovely photos, food, everything…a delight for the eyes!

  17. JasmyneTea says:

    Happy Anniversary! I actually don’t mind my steak cut up like that, I find it easier to eat and navigate around the sinew and fat. I love Chinta Ria at Cockle Bay Wharf, but so far have been unimpressed with the other restaurants I’ve been to there.

  18. sophia says:

    Oh no!! I love pork rinds…most of the ones I’ve had were awesome. That restaurant is so glamorous though. It’s the kind of place I would treat my parents to on their anniversary.

    Thanks for sharing the firework display. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen some.

  19. Joanne says:

    Happy anniversary! It seems like you guys really celebrated with an awesome dinner! Looks so tasty.

  20. Thats such a shame about the crackling – you’re right, there is no excuse.

  21. Wesley says:

    I think Tony Bilson’s Ampersand was next door where there is now a function centre. Coast was opened at the same time in the late 90′s and early on won many awards.

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