[invite] Bianca: It’s no secret we like a cheeky tipple here at FFS. And we’re constantly on the hunt for cool little bars but that usually involves a caveat and that is, they also have to serve some substantial food. We like our liquor but we like food even more!
And when you can combine it all with a view, even better. Perched on the twelfth floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel is Zephyr Bar. The space is super impressive, overlooking Darling Harbour, there is ample seating with private hidey holes and you never really feel like you’re in each other’s pockets. Which is quickly becoming one of my least favourite things about Sydney dining/bars. We visited Saturday day and while the music was going, I think it’s one of those places you truly appreciate in the evening with the lights across the city twinkling.
I was a little dubious about the walk from the lift to Zephyr bar, all I can say is I really wouldn’t want to be one of the unfortunate sods staying on peak nights. The food menu is geared towards snacks and bite sized food but there are a fair few options. We started with a Mulled Wine $16 which was a great intuitive choice by the bartenders as it was freezing that day. A great winter warmer as we comfortably sat, sipping our mulled wine whilst we perused the menu.
Mixed and Marinated Olives $12 really was just a snap suggestion to get some food into our system stat. They’re a great little snack and I adored the meaty Kalamata olives.
When the Chickpea Croquettes w/guacamole & lime $16 were placed in front of us they came with a warning “eat it with the guacamole as they’re very dry”. Okay, maybe not the greatest thing to say to entice that first bite. Alas, the suggestion was obviously one they are used to giving. The croquettes were bone dry and the guac badly needed seasoning. This needs a bit of reworking.
Making up for that disappointment were the Crab Cakes in Kataifi pastry, chives, paprika, lemon & rum chipolata sauce $22. These were little flavour bombs. With the crispy pastry encasing the delicate, fluffy crab mixture. There was a good deal of flavour here with the punchy herbs & accompanying sauce at the base.
We were treated to some of Zephyr’s signature cocktails, which was a slightly risky move as we didn’t choose any of the beverages on the day. Luckily, I happen to love Negroni’s so it all worked out in the end. The Zephyr ‘Sonic Wave’ Negroni $24 may invoke a few eye-rolls but I do appreciate the eccentric and inventive ways to push the boundaries. Explaining to us, they pushed the limits to get flavours from things you otherwise wouldn’t think to.
The Muscatel ‘Acoustic’ Rum Old Fashioned $24 was certainly the most visually striking of the lot. Sweet with heady wood notes, capped off by the sharp cheese and sweet muscatel grapes.
I have a weakness for battered calamari so once I saw Five Spiced Calamari w/kafir mayo $18 it was a done deal. The batter was crispy and the calamari tender. Great hit of spices to really make these a standout.
Despite What The Health practically ruining all dairy for me I love Burratta and will continue to ‘treat myself’. Ergo, the Burratine w/heirloom tomato $20 little morsels of creamy burrata with the sweet tomato and crispy bread. An extremely tasty three bites.
And finally, baby burgers. Harissa Spiced lamb sliders -w/smoked yoghurt & eggplant $17. Despite looking a little dry there was actually quite a lot of flavour going on. I’m a little unsure if the eggplant was left off or mixed in with the lamb as there were no discernable pieces on the slider itself.
We drew the attention of a few patrons when the Aperitif Punch $55 hit the table. Rosemary infused Aperol is probably the drink to order for a Sunday session, easily shareable between 3.
There’s a lot to like here, views alone, it’s pretty special.
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Zephyr