There’s never any argument that we have one of the world’s most stunning harbours, even on a grey day. And it’s even better to sit right beside it and enjoy a meal. But on many occasions there has been a food-view trade off – great view, not so good food (places like Ormeggio, Berowra Waters Inn and Pilu are an exception, with a great showing on both fronts). One day Mamma Rosa and The Sisters get the ferry into the Big Smoke, and I walk down from my office to Circular Quay to meet them. Our last get together was at Via Alta.
Today we are heading to Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, as Mamma Rosa is a big oyster fan, a taste I inherited from her. We are warmly welcomed and the staff that day were absolutely lovely – friendly, warm, helpful – nothing was too much trouble.
We start with sea scallops with pork belly and shemiji mushroom – fat scallops, well caramelised, and we enjoy it.
We then go for the Ultimate Oyster Bar Indulgence Platter ($225) and it looks great on the table, accompanied by various (somewhat pedestrian) sauces. The oysters though sadly are disappointing, and just don’t have the beautiful freshness I’ve found elsewhere (for instance the previous week at Gardels the oysters seemed like they’d just been plucked from the sea) and the mussels we have to send back. The best parts for me are the crab and the lobster, fresh and sweet and we enjoy every bit of them. The battered seafood is good too. It’s a bit of a shame about the oysters given the location (and the name of the place!), but maybe we just caught them on an off day.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay East, Sydney, Ph (02) 9427 2937