The best thing about Helm Bar is the location, right on the edge of Cockle Bay; a mere escalator from the Pyrmont foot bridge; and a short stroll from the CBD department stores. With a sea breeze ruffling my hair, I sat on the wide dining deck enjoying partial sun through a louvered roof and a 2009 Blue Pyrenees Pinot Rose ($8/glass, $35/bottle).
Oysters ($17/6, $34/dozen) were small, tasty Hawkesbury specimens on the day I dined. Our waiter earned points by avoiding my soaking with deft hand-work.
He was also on the money about the tasty scallop spring roll with the Fish of the Day ($22) which came with nicely cooked Dory and an uninspiring seafood bisque.
A bowl of Mussels with Ginger, Coriander, Lemongrass and Coconut Milk ($19.50) served with french fries was overly salty, forcing us to forgo the all-important bread ritual. Mistakes can be one-offs, so don’t let me keep you from All You Can Eat Mussels ($19.95) on Wed/Thurs and a whole kilo of Prawns ($25) on Sat/Sun. The stylish space looks brilliant by night, and would be perfect for large groups. If you plan on driving, I’d try Sussex Street, with the Wilson Parking station as a fallback plan.
Aquarium Wharf, Wheat Road, Darling Harbour
Ph: (02) 9290 1571