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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I skipped entrees and decided on the grilled first light wagyu scotch fillet, rocket, horseradish mascarpone and lemon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Tel: +61 2 9267 6700
Lunch Tuesdays – Fridays 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Dinner Tuesdays 6.00pm – 9.30pm
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.