We’ve scoped out the best spots for dinner, drinks and a show this year during Vivid 2018.
Since its inception ten years ago (can you believe it’s been 10 years?!), hoards of eager punters have travelled far and wide to witness the transformation of Sydney’s most iconic structures during Vivid. Just when you thought that the lights festival had reached its creative peak, the Vivid 2018 agenda looks set to astound us all.
And what better way to immerse yourself in the spectacle than by checking out the city’s surrounding bars and restaurants. Take your pick of these top wine and dining spots, with everything from limited edition cocktails to Vivid degustation menus available.
Having arguably one of the best positions during the Vivid festivities, the Museum of Contemporary Art is teaming up with Bombay Sapphire to launch the Bombay Sapphire x MCA Pop-Up Bar. Located on the MCA’s ultra luxe rooftop Sculpture Terrace, guests are encouraged to ease into the Vivid celebrations with a range of limited edition gin cocktails, served in LED-lit glasses. The pop-up will be open 5pm-9pm for nine exclusive Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, including for World Gin Day on 9 June.
Situated in the heart of the Vivid action Salt Meats Cheese, Circular Quay. Having no doubt worked up an appetite checking out all the sights and sounds, Salt Meats Cheese are offering all-you-can-eat pizza on Monday nights for just $20pp with the purchase of a drink. If that doesn’t take your fancy, perhaps $9 Espresso Martinis on tap on Tuesdays will. During Vivid, the team will also be serving up a special cocktail – a Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail to be precise.
Fine dining connoisseurs 12-Micron are tapping into every kid and kid-at-heart’s dreams with a Vivid inspired Garden of Sweet Delights dessert. A visual delight, the dish is comprised of strawberry quandong jam and dried pistachio cake, dark chocolate and eucalyptus mousse, a milo lollipop, a chocolate cone filled with strawberry ice cream, mandarin jellies, forest fruit fizzy sours and coloured sugar shards! If that doesn’t have you bouncing off the walls, you can also wash it down with a speciality Lemon There Be Lights cocktail.
Barangaroo’s original rooftop bar is getting in on the action with an array of luminescent inspired menu items. Think vibrant rainbow sliders stacked with fried chicken, beef and cheese, barramundi or portobello mushroom. Wash it down with a limited edition cocktail, including the ‘Dame Edna’ Ink Gin and lychee martini or a ‘Wizz Fizz’ Ink Gin fizz, a striking concoction served with a rhubarb and grenadine foam.
Renowned for developing #Insta-worthy creations, Devon will be debuting mouth-watering ice cream sandwiches from its Vivid Sydney ice cream cart. The bright coloured sandwiches are made with a matcha shortbread cookie, strawberry and white chocolate parfait filled with popping candy, and balsamic and strawberry jam. Instagram, are you ready?
Stroll by Banksii during Vivid to find glow-in-the-dark fairy floss! If your inner kid hasn’t already reached peak excitement, the team will also be shaking and stirring a range of illuminated cocktails at its Vivid Sydney spritz cart. You know where you’ll find us.
The kings of Japanese cuisine Zushi are partnering with Bacardi to shake Vivid Sydney cocktails as part of this year’s festivities. On the menu is The Kyoto Lights – a combination of blue curacao, Bacardi ocho, orange juice and pink grapefruit syrup. The effect? None other than a rainbow in a glass. If that doesn’t take your fancy, perhaps the pastel pink Zushi Spritzu will. It comes mixed with Martini Bianco, Nigori Umeshu, prosecco, soda and pink grapefruit.
The Ternary Darling Harbour
Head down to Darling Harbour during Vivid for a special sensory experience, as hosted by The Ternary. For one night only on Thursday 14th June, they’ll hosting ‘Unlit by The Ternary’. As the surrounding city flourishes with the colours of Vivid, the entire restaurant will be lit only by candles. As you bask in the moody candle light, you’ll be treated to a five course degustation menu for just $89 per person. Bookings are essential, to reserve your space click here.
Q Dining, Pullman Quay Grand
With some of the most iconic views of Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge, fine dining restaurant Q Dining at Pullman Quay Grand has created a speciality menu during Vivid 2018. Executive Chef Joshua Davidson can be found injecting colour into the menu, with delights such as stracciatella and grilled bell peppers, pepper crusted lamb rump and meringue with wattleseed cream. The specialty menu is $79 per head for 3 courses and $109 per head for 3 courses + matching wines. Bookings are strongly recommended, to reserve your seat click here.
For some of the best views of the Vivid lights in Sydney, look no further than Hacienda Sydney. During the festivities, they’ll be serving up a speciality Light’er Up cocktail. A delicious concoction of Vodka, lemon juice, lavender syrup, raspberry syrup, blue pea flower and edible flowers, the cocktail is finished by lighting the passionfruit garnish on fire.
Endeavour Taprooms, Circular Quay
Although Endeavour’s range of brews normally take centre stage, during Vivid it’s all about the cocktails. Here you’ll find an All of the Lights cocktail ($18), starring vodka, cointreau, lime juice, pineapple juice, Fruits of the Forest jam and cherry bitters. If your sweet tooth allows, they’ll also be dishing up a speciality Rainbow Cheesecake ($12), made with chocolate Tim Tam crumble, blueberry coulis and vanilla syrup.
Sydney’s luxury hotel bar will joining in on the celebrations this year, joining forces with Belvedere for their Light the Night experience. Head to Grain Bar to see the site glow blue during the festival period! Adding to the spectacle will also be an innovative cocktail list, including concoctions such as The Ghost of Mary. A twist on the classic Bloody Mary, it is comprised of Belvedere and a secret tomato consommé recipe. What’s the twist? It’s completely transparent!
Foodies, get ready to be wined and dined at Mode Kitchen & Bar during Vivid, as they showcase their creativity with a special three-course Vivid menu. Available from Friday 25th May until Saturday 16th June between 5:30pm to 10:00pm for $78pp, the menu will feature a selection of Head Chef Francesco Mannelli’s top seasonal picks. Expect everything from wood-baked Tomino radicchio to Rangers Valley wagyu cheek, and for the grand finale dish, indulge in Mannelli’s custom made ‘glow’ Pavlova.
If you haven’t been to this epic rooftop bar, the start of Vivid marks the perfect opportunity to take in the panoramic views of Darling Harbour. Here you’ll find a special Vivid G&T cocktail available throughout the festival. The signature cocktail combines 78 Degrees lavender infused gin, spice blueberry syrup, fresh lemon, butterfly pea topped with Mediterranean Fever Tree tonic.
Offering 360 degree views of the light shows throughout the city, O Bar and Dining offers a particularly prized view during Vivid. To celebrate the start of the festival, O Bar and Dining will be featuring their own signature ‘liquid light show’ cocktail in partnership with Four Pillars Gin. The glowing cocktail named “Limelight” made in partnership with Four Pillars, boasts rare dry gin, Campari, three-citrus extract, kaffir lime leaf and soda. Guests that order two of these signature cocktails will also receive a complimentary tapas plate.