Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Bar at the End of the Wharf | Walsh Bay

The Bar at the End of the Wharf is just that – a bar at the end of the wharf. If you like a quiet, casual and open establishment boasting the best Sydney Harbour views, then head towards The Bar at the End of the Wharf in Walsh Bay. Although the establishment is known for its waterside bar, I wasn’t there for a drink. I went there alone for lunch during a work week to take a breather, to get away from the busyness of the CBD.

View from where I was sitting at The Bar at the End of the Wharf

Sydney’s Walsh Bay has a history. It was once upon a time awashed with rubbish and infested with rats, ripe conditions for the bubonic plague. The Sydney Harbour Trust was established to rebuild the port of Sydney, where wharves were renewed and whole streets disappeared as cliffs were cut down to form Hickson Road. New double decked finger wharves were built with a series of bridges, which connected the upper levels to the high roads of Millers Point. In the years that followed, Walsh Bay flourished on the back of vast cargoes of wool but by the early seventies the wharves fell into a period of disuse. From a tour I did with Sydney Architecture Walks, I learnt this was mainly because shipment for wool was taken over by shipment of things like containers and these ships could not dock between the finger wharves.  Walsh Bay languished for a time until in 1982 Pier One was turned into a shopping and amusement complex. The real transformation started when the Sydney Theatre Company and the restaurant took over wharves 4 and 5. Today, Walsh Bay is Sydney's cultural hub and award winning modern architecture sits happily beside heritage buildings. 

What you will see as you walk towards the establishment

Location and Ambience


Right towards the end of Pier 4, where The Wharf Theatres adjoin the Sydney Dance Company, there is a little establishment, well hidden away, right on the water’s edge with unrivalled views of Sydney Harbour. Seriously, a true delight. The standout is the open dining space that has been created in this establishment. The establishment is split into three areas, all with superb views of the harbour. The sun does creep in and can get quite hot so just choose the best spot under the shade.


The southern end of the establishment


It’s not obvious place to get to. As you arrive in Pier 4, you walk up the stairs (with the Sydney Theatre Company box office to your left). At the top of the stairs you, you need to walk along a long corridor with rustic timber flooring. It’s probably a two minute walk to the end of the corridor, where the establishment is located, maybe longer if you stop to admire the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the black and white photos of actors and actresses who have performed at the Sydney Theatre Company including Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett.


Another diner also admiring the views of some of Walsh Bay's million dollar apartments

Food and Coffee

It’s a pretty ‘no frills’ sort of menu. There is a ‘Day’ and ‘Dinner’ menu. The Day menu covers both breakfast and lunch. Not the healthiest option, but somedays you just feel like Fish & Chips with Chipotle Mayo ($18). The fish underneath the batter was hot and fresh. I probably would have preferred it without the batter, like grilled, as the batter was a little overdone. Next time, I may try and ask whether they could grill the fish instead.


Some of other lunch choices are:
Roast Chicken, Tomato & Corn Toasty ($10)
Home Made Pie with Green Salad ($8)

Wild Mushroom Arancini with Truffle & Pecorino ($14)
Quiche of the Day with Green Salad ($12)
Classic Beef Burger with Steak Cut Chips ($14)
Soybean, Chilli and Sour Cream Burger with Steak Cut Chips ($14)

You can get decent coffee here too.


Fish & chips at The Bar at The End of the Wharf
Best time to go

The best time to go for quiet time is a work day lunch time. Very few people are around then and on a bright sunny day, the views of Sydney Harbour are second to none. These conditions make it an ideal location for a gentle schmooze business meeting, whilst also having lunch, coffee, some wine and more wine perhaps, whilst you overlook Sydney Harbour.

If you go in the evening, especially just before a show on a Saturday night, it will be a completely different scene. The atmosphere buzzes with theatre goers who are there having a drink or two before a show.

Overall

No matter what your views are on which capital city is better for dining or simply hanging out, you cannot surpass the open space and the panoramic views of Sydney Harbour at The Bar at the End of the Wharf. It's simply a delight.

Where? Pier 4, Hickson Rd, Dawes Point NSW 2000
Phone? 02) 9250 1761
When?
Monday to Friday 9.30am to late
Saturdays 12pm to late. Sundays closed.

Some inspirational words to part with as you leave the establishment

 The Theatre Bar at the End of The Wharf on Urbanspoon

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