I walk into a bar and see a Sexy Saint, a Red Hot Mexican, an Oriental Sweet Tart, and Ginny Hendriks…. What do I do? Order a round, because I’m at Helm Bar and Bistro for cocktails.
I had been to Helm Bar before, but never to eat, and never on a Tuesday night. For some reason my mind always thinks Darling Harbour bars will be deserted on a weekday, obviously, however, Helm Bar is doing something right as there were quite a few people sitting down enjoying cocktails and having dinner.
Sitting down by a window under the warm heaters I had a glorious view of Darling Harbour as I listened to the water lapping and watched people walk by. What a truly relaxing way to spend an evening after a hard day of work.
Looking around at all the cocktail glasses on other tables I had a sudden urge to see what the fuss was about, I couldn’t decide between a Sexy Saint and a Ginny Hendriks, so the bartender suggested I try the Sexy Saint (her favourite, but also $7 on a Tuesday). Made with St Germain liquor with chilli, lemon juice and honey (what a fabulous combination) the Sexy Saint is delicious. The perfect winter drink to warm you up with that hit of chilli and warmth from the honey, keeping the cold away.
My date started with a Red Hot Mexican, mixed with 1800 Anejo tequila, chocolate liqueur, and dressed with fresh chilli. A wonderfully warm blend of flavours to invigorate on a cooler night. To start the evening off, I absolutely had to begin out meal with Mussels, filled to the brim in a Belgium pot, and served with a Mariniere sauce (white wine, onion and parsley). There is something to be said of a meal that can be shared, using food to bring people closer together. Mouthwateringly divine!
As our pot of beautiful empty Mussel shells was being cleared away, the soothing sounds of Ginny Hendricks were coming from within. Served with Hendricks gin, Aperol, muddled with cucumber, lime juice and sugar syrup and topped with ruby red grapefruit juice. Looking like candy, my eyes deceived me on just how tart and
scrumptious this cocktail would be.
An Oriental Sweet Tart, shaken with gin, lychee and pear liqueur with lemon juice and orgeat syrup was moreish. Sipping on my cocktails I saw a Mojito being savoured at the next table over, and grew decidedly jealous. I forgot to order my staple cocktail.
Within seconds it had passed out my mind completely when my paella, fresh, fragrant and fabulous was sat in front of me. Complete with mussles, calamari, and prawns, all succulent and perfectly cooked. The chorizo, full of delicious heat and flavour, was a perfect accompaniment to the seafood and tomato sauce.
Also delicious, but not in front of me, was a Black Angus Sirloin Steak served with hand-cut chips, a beautiful salad with beetroot and bocconcini and topped with a butter sauce (or peppercorn if you are that way inclined). At the end of the meal I didn’t have any room left for the Flourless Orange and Blueberry Cake ( White Chocolate and Orange Ganache) or the Decadent Chocolate Cake. I may need to escape the concrete jungle one lunchtime and treat myself to a slice. Or two.
Helm Bar & Bistro
1 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour Sydney Australia
+61 2 9279 0593