All aboard, Helm Bar has transformed its upper deck.
Barangaroo may be getting all the attention, but Darling Harbour is still buzzing with restaurant and nightlife. Drawing inspiration from a Riviera yacht club, Helm Bar has relaunched it’s dine-in menu to match the sweeping white decor of its upper deck.
Overlooking the foot bridge linking two sides of the city together, the dining room is awash with welcoming white tables, red chairs and large timber bench seating along the wall. The refurbished bar looks as thought it’s come straight from The Hamptons. The timber floored room, leads to a large blue bar pouring a selection of local brews and cocktails. For groups there are classic jugs (all $25) to share, including pitchers of Pimms, Red and White Sangria and a “Big Strawberry Woo Woo” made with vodka and peach liqueur.
The solo serve cocktail list includes the Yeah Buoy Margarita ($17), a smack of tequila with a abundance of fresh pressed lime and the perfect pinch of salt. The equally cheeky sounding Boatie Mc Boatface ($17) is a blend of sweet passionfruit puree, lime juice, Parasio lychee liqueur and vodka.
Being so close to the water, it would be a waste not to try Helm Bar’s seafood heavy menu. The salt and pepper squid ($14) is served with a rich lime and honey soy sauce and six servings of squid are more than enough for two. The batter is crumbly encasing buttery cuts of squid.
The Tapas Plate ($21) includes an assortment of Spanish favourites, including grilled chorizo, arancini and fresh olives. Meanwhile spicy buffalo drumettes ($19) are drizzled in a Nahm Jim dressing.
There are number of new additions to Helm Bar’s main menu. Seafood Paella ($32) is a rich assortment of mussels, calamari, prawns and scallops topped off with spicy sausage. Or, for $85, you can unleash with an overflowing tower of sliced house smoked salmon, tiger prawns, mussels, a battered fish of the day and white bait.
Pub classics are also on offer, but we try the daily special, a tuna Nicoise salad. The salad is a safe choice but tastes as though it’s been plucked straight from the ocean.
Like any good pub Helm Bar offers a range of weekly specials including a $14 Schnitzel on Mondays, $12 steak on Tuesdays and a 1kg of prawns for $30 all weekend.
Time will tell if Helm Bar’s ocean loving menu is enough to distract diners from the noise coming from newer, neighbouring venues. In the meantime, Helm Bar still holds a strong hold on the tourist market in the area.