Seafood platter at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay

Many restaurants are defined by their signature dishes.

Some people are willing to walk five hundred miles for a chef’s trademark offering, maybe a carefully crafted beverage or a steak sizzled to perfection. However, the best restaurants aren’t defined by one dish. The best places to dine won’t have their staff wincing if a patron selects an option that isn’t popular, the best places won’t push you to get something because they know their kitchen is ill equipped to prepare it, the best places aren’t defined by an offering embedded in their name.

I went to Sydney Cove Oyster Bar and didn’t have oysters.


I’ve walked past Sydney Cove Oyster Bar at least a dozen times and it’s just never registered for me. Located at Circular Quay, the place offers a gorgeous view in the day and an even more serene scene at night time. As someone that’s lived in Sydney all of his life, I have never taken the beauty of my city for granted. It’s a fantastic city and I’m grateful to be here. This doesn’t mean I won’t bolt for New York within the next five years but I’ll still miss the harbour views.

Why aren’t there photos? Er, I was enjoying the view and failed to think about my dear readers. My bad.


I went in a large group and we were presented with a set menu. We were allowed to select an entree, main and dessert from three options.

Now I guess I have to address as to why I chose not to have oysters.  I’ve had incredibly fresh oysters and oysters of the most putrid ilk. The frank of the matter is that I’m simply not a fan. So I thought I’d see whether this was a one trick pony restaurant or a place that had a good bench.

My entree of choice was the sesame crusted yellow fin tuna.

Sesame crusted yellow fin tuna with wakame seaweed, pickled ginger, and a soy ginger glaze
Sesame crusted yellow fin tuna with wakame seaweed, pickled ginger, and a soy ginger glaze

Fun fact: I love having sea weed as a side dish. Remind me to never use the pre-fix fun fact again unless the fact I’m about to present is actually fun.

I actually saw this dish on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen and really wanted to try it. The tuna was beautifully prepared, not too chewy and the seaweed went really well with it. The ginger provided a bit of an excessive kick but not too the point in which you’d tell the teacher on it. Great way to start dinner and had me wondering what other meats would go well with a sesame crust.

Answer? Everything.

My main arrived as I continued enjoying the view straight out of a ‘Welcome to Sydney’ postcard.

Sirloin steak with café de Paris butter & onion jam
Sirloin steak with café de Paris butter & onion jam

You know that guy who orders steak at a seafood restaurant and hears sniggers from the rest of the diners?


Fortunately for me, this was premium steak. Cooked medium rare and to perfection, the butter that glazed the top of the steak was absolutely delicious. I tend to like my steak to contain a bit more fat than the sirloin but the meat was so tender that I quickly forgot about my love for cows that enjoyed a bit more grass than the rest of their herds. The garlic jam was another major plus and didn’t stink of shellfish like my neighbour’s dish.

Want to see? Fine. does looks pretty good. And yeah, I don't know why there's watermelon on the plate either.
Alright….it does looks pretty good. And yeah, I don’t know why there’s watermelon on the plate either.

Must have dessert right? Rhetorical question hi five!

Pineapple cheesecake with frozen fruit salad and pineapple jam
Pineapple cheesecake with frozen fruit salad and pineapple jam

My only problem with this dish was that the base was practically non-existent. Gravity was the only thing stopping the cream cheese from taking over my plate. I needed a bit more biscuit crunch to have fully enjoyed the slice but then again it was cheesecake. It’s difficult to find fault in cheesecake even if it is missing the cake component.

The frozen fruit was a nice touch but might have been better served by being embedded within the cheese and adding a bit more of texture to it. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t perfect.

Here’s the TL; DR for everyone who just wanted to look at photos

– Sydney Cove Oyster Bar’s supporting cast is like Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air. Everyone walked into the theatre expecting a great performance from George Clooney but walked out of the cinema saying ‘wow that Anna Kendrick can really act.’ She ended up stealing the show and solidifying her status as an up and coming super star.

– Absolutely great date spot unless it’s raining. Then you’re done barring a Ryan Gosling in the Notebook type of move.

– Sesame crusted meats should really be a thing.

– Nothing better than a well cooked steak.

– Don’t forget about the cake in cheesecake.

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay

Lot 1 Circular Quay E 

Sydney, NSW

Opening Hours:
Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00 am
Monday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Tuesday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Wednesday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Thursday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Friday 11:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 am

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon
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