The newly renovated International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour is an impressive, glittering new building that hosts some of the biggest events in Sydney. Conveniently located below the ICC is Planar Bar and Restaurant, a chic waterfront dining destination not to be missed.
Considering its prime location, it's the perfect place for a weekend brunch, after work drinks or even just a quick bite to eat before a conference. You can get some pretty spectacular front-row views of the water and city lights (and Saturday night fireworks if you timed it well) at their alfresco outdoor dining terrace area.
Before we get to the menu, we were in awe of their designer cocktail selections. The bar is well-stocked, covering everything from cocktails, wines, spirits to whiskeys. So we ordered two cocktails to start with and we were really pleased to receive two extraordinary concoctions.
My ink gin cocktail arrived elegantly in a dreamy lavender purple colour and I was already happy with it. But when our friendly waitress informed us that this is a natural colour-changing craft gin, I was all curious.
When I added the Mediterranean tonic water, my cocktail changed colour from deep purple-blue to blush pink! The taste has a hint of natural floral infusion and a remarkable aftertaste. It was a fun gin & tonic cocktail.
Hellen's Flowers / House infused gin, lime juice, tonic water, rose water $20
For those who have always been tempted by the world of cocktail and whisky. You may be interested to check out Planar's distinguished & sophisticated tasting experience.
While it was fun sipping our cocktails and enjoyed the views, we remembered to examine Planar's new dining menu. Their signature dishes include fresh seafood platter, hand-rolled pasta and stone-baked pizza, using seasonal ingredients. We had two entrees, two mains and a dessert, and each one was full of flavour, of quality, fresh and generous in portion.
The first entree was the beautifully presented bean nachos. The chef jam-packed a load of healthy ingredients, like black beans, eyed peas, coriander, sweet corn, avocado and tomato into the dip. Perhaps it's winter, we were looking for some greasy, cheesy nachos to go with our drinks. Having said that, I think this would make a good summer-time bar food though.
Sauteed Cauliflower (V) $18 (Served with capers and yoghurt, coriander, onion, crispy peking pancake & pomegranate seeds)
Our next entree - the sauteed cauliflower was a flavour bomb! These fried cauliflowers were covered with a creamy caper yoghurt sauce and they were insanely delicious. We could not stop eating this vegetarian dish and we could probably fit in another serve.
Crispy Skin Salmon (GF) (Pan fried salmon served with tomato mash & cucumber, shallots & onion salsa)
The crispy skin salmon was a pretty sight. The dish consisted of pan fried salmon fillet served with sweet potato and tomato mash with a light salsa on the side. The dish itself was light but still bursting with flavour. The salmon was juicy and fresh but the crispy skin was a tad overdone. Still, it was a simple but beautiful dish.
I wanted to try Planar's signature stone-baked pizza, so I ordered a truffle prosciutto pizza to share. The earthy mushroom based pizza with truffle scent was loaded with prosciutto and shaved parmesan cheese. It was a delicious combination and turned a normal pizza into a 4 star meal.
There is nothing as decadent as a traditional comfort food classic like pizza morphed into a gourmet meal. Just with the addition of a simple but exotic ingredient like black truffle, elevated the flavour considerably.
Chocolate Dome (GF) $12 Three texture chocolate dessert, chocolate mousse with a vanilla insert over a chocolate sable covered in a chocolate mirror glaze.
Planar is the new idyllic go-to spot for Darling Harbour, with a beautiful view and stunning interior it's hard not to stop by. Open seven days a week, from morning till night, it's perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as after-work drinks and weekend gatherings. Their diverse dining menu takes inspiration from all around the globe, so you will definitely find something suit to your fancy.
Planar also launched a few masterclasses run by an expert team of in-house mixologists and talented pizza and pasta maestros. You can master the art of crafting cocktails, become a whisky wizard, learn to toss pizza dough like a pro or discover the joy of making your own pasta – the choice is yours. These masterclasses are bookable for private events and perfect for office team building, hen parties and birthdays.