Thursday, February 23, 2006

Harbour View Hotel, Cumberland St, The Rocks

Harbour View Hotel, Lower Fort St, The Rocks
Thursday 23 February, 2006

This pub is located so close to the Harbour Bridge that you can see the elated expressions of the bridge climbers as they make their descent. There is a public bar on entry level however take my advice and climb the three flights of stairs to the top floor cocktail bar - a small, open space that offers surprising views.

Tonight, our group of 15 started with pre-dinner drinks in the Cocktail bar. The wine list had some lovely offerings with a few wines by the glass. After reading the cocktail list I decided to try the French Martini - I can highly recommend this - it was so drinkable and very refreshing. The only downside to this location was the sound of the trains going back & forth over the bridge.

We moved into the restaurant and ordered a variety of starters - Light sourdough with roasted olives & extra virgin olive oil and Garlic & herb bread. The bread was beautifully fresh and it didn't take long for the table to polish everything off.

I was pleasantly surprised by the dinner menu and thrilled with my selections - Blue swimmer crab cakes with asparagus, sauce remoulade & baby herb salad garnish for entree and Grilled swordfish with pippis, silver beet, smoked paprika aioli & red capsicum sauce. My colleagues ordered most of the other main meal offerings and there were no complaints only praise - the one dish that received the best comments was the Country fish pie with white fish fillets, prawns & buttered mushrooms gently poached in a white sauce, topped with mash potatoes & garnished with caramelized tomato. The dish is on my radar for my next visit.

The staff were courteous and on top of the drinks orders (a hard task with any large group). Our animated, lively conversations did drive some other diners away but fortunately we were seated around the corner from the main part of the dining room. This is a great destination for groups - start with pre-dinner drinks in the cocktail bar and then move inside for dinner.

Interestingly, this hotel is also owned by the group that transformed the Exchange Hotel in Balmain.

Harbour View Hotel - 18 Lower Fort St, The Rocks - (02) 9252 4111


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