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Helm Bar & Bistro

Home > Sydney > Restaurants | Bars | Food and Wine
by Justine Crowley (subscribe)
More of my written work, including my books: Runs the following sites:
Published May 28th 2012
Cocktails and Pasta @ The Helm Bar & Bistro

The new cocktail offering (for starters) at Helm Bar & Bistro is just magic. The difficulty is always deciding on what to choose. Cocktail loving Sydney will be spoilt for choice thanks to their new cocktail offering added to the menu over the last couple of months. Apparently their bestseller on this new menu is the Espresso Martini, and come to think of it, another customer had nailed the definition of this mean, indulgent treat as "positively dangerous." I would have to agree with this opinion. Well, with a mixture of Smirnoff Vodka, Tuaca and Kahlua, you might be saying the same thing. Sinful, positively toxic and rather pleasant. All of your weekly caffeine hits rolled into one powerful concoction shaken in front of your very eyes with three beans. Other popular cocktails on their new cocktail offering include the Long Island Iced Tea and the Caipiroska to name a few.

The cocktails being prepared as part of Helm Bar & Bistro's new cocktail offering

When it comes to cocktails, the drinks that immediately come to my mind include the Pina Colada and the Japanese Slipper. A darkish coffee cocktail was different, and it is helpful to have an open mind, otherwise you will miss out and be a bit disappointed. I was drunk with caffeine in a pleasant way - add that to magnificent water and harbour views (well, that is glorious Sydney) then you have literally hit the cocktail jackpot with a candlelit, laid back ambience. No wonder this new cocktail menu has been well received. Oh, and did I also tell you that Helm Bar & Bistro offer $7 cocktails all day, every Tuesday? This is not a misprint. Expect quality cocktail choices from the Lychee Martini to the Sexy Saint. It is easy to see why an establishment such as the Helm Bar & Bistro has been around for five years thus far with a major refurbishment in-between, and with another one on the cards shortly.

My Espresso Martini being made

The ambience is just sublime, regardless of the weather - definitely a great way to beat the winter blues. Stunning marina backdrops in a perfect and convenient locale. Sydney, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Now onto the food side of things. I opted for the Seafood Pasta that came with a chilli surprise. If you love your seafood, and you love your chilli, then you have picked a winning combination with this interesting pasta dish. Expect a generous serving size. Unfortunately the spice factor did not agree with me on this occasion. The mussels were fresh, and the prawns were cooked to perfection with a generous amount of herbs but chilli for me overpowered the dish. Thank goodness I was given some water with my dinner and cocktail - otherwise I would have turned out to be one demanding foodie.

Three Cheers? The Daily Grind?

A perfect location for cocktail lovers and couples. Makes way for a romantic night out. If I was to re-write my previous article on the best places to take your date in Sydney, Helm Bar & Bistro would easily have made the list. An awesome establishment to also hang out with a group of you and three other friends. Sit as close to the water as you can.

Heaven Night, an event that is held every Saturday night at the Helm Bar & Bistro brings a 'packed to the rafters situation' where advanced bookings for groups are required.

Great Bar Service

Cheap feeds are also quite popular with the $10 steaks on Tuesdays, plus special sporting events such as the State of Origin provide the great backyard theme with the trendy and chill out factor equal to perfection without even trying.


Laid back tunes are enjoyed, and these tunes are just like yin and yang with Sydney Harbour blended in between.

The staff occasionally ask you to check in and see if all is okay. I was also offered an opportunity to sign up to Helm's Gold Card membership where you receive priority entry to the bar on special occasions in tandem with 10% of all food and drink items anytime. Definitely worth signing up and coming back to this establishment on your birthday is an absolute must. Why? Free venue hire is provided plus a free bottle of French bubbles on your special day - the type of champers that does not come cheap.

Gotta love the bar

In leaving the establishment, the person who served me asked me a closing question to encourage me to come back: "will I see you on Saturday?" I had to say no in being honest; I will be in Melbourne.

It turned out that coffee, chilli (although a bit overpowering to my taste buds on this occasion), seafood and beautiful decor just blended in quite nicely. You are encouraged to come back, and seeming as though life is short, you just have to.

Magic on Sydney Harbour

Sydney's Cocktail Magic

Thank you so much Helm Bar & Bistro

Justine would like to give her sincere thanks and appreciation to WeekendNotes Sydney, and to Helm Bar & Bistro for this special writer invitation.
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Why? Great cocktails, their new cocktail menu offering is a real hit.
When: Anytime (cheap cocktails and steaks on Tuesday's)
Phone: 02 9290 1571
Where: Helm Bar & Bistro, Darling Harbour
Cost: $20-30 per person depending on items ordered
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