For the entire month of June, the harbourside bar and kitchen has a special Cook For Syria menu, with $5 from every dish donated to the UNICEF #CookForSyria campaign. The Australia-wide initiative began last year, with the aim of fundraising for children affected by the situation in Syria. Cruise Bar was involved in the first #CookForSyria, and is back this year with a menu that will make your mouth water.
If you’re dining downstairs, on the ground floor of Cruise Bar, tuck into plump beef kibbeh served with leafy greens and a creamy beetroot yoghurt dotted with pomegranates. It has just a hint of a kick and is a pretty generous serve. That’s what you think until the main arrives – ‘Syrian chicken’ is an entire bird, deboned and stuffed with barley pilaf, sitting on a bed of heirloom carrots and fried Brussel sprouts. For just $35, it has to be one of the most reasonably priced dishes on the Quay, even better, one of the tastiest. Scoop up a bit of spiced barley pilaf, slice some chicken breast, throw in a crunchy sprout, and we’re in heaven.
But wait, there’s more. There’s another three course Cook For Syria menu on offer upstairs, in the moody Junk Lounge. Hong Kong meets Sydney Harbour at Junk, well known for its cocktails and killer views out across the Overseas Passenger Terminal to the Harbour Bridge. We’re straight into the Kung Fu Hustle, a ginger, orange and Ketel One tumbler that’s more a jug than a drink, but we’re not complaining. The Mekishiko also goes down a treat, with Jose Cuervo Tradicional, lime juice, lemongrass and grapefruit, it’s a fun Asian-style margarita that will get your night started. Whatever you’re drinking, don’t forget about dinner. At Junk Lounge, start off with Syria Pop, crumbed quail and lamb bacon, before moving onto lamb loin served with a delicate squash terrine, sprinkled with barley and fava beans. Linger on the lamb with a glass of Tim Smith Bugalugs Shiraz, and enjoy the view. Until June 16th, you’re served up the best views of Vivid Sydney – without the crowds.
Save room for guilt free dessert, because hey, remember, your wallet is helping a very good cause. The Cook For Syria Orange Blossom fudge is more a moreish dense cake than your traditional lolly store treat – paired with pistachio and walnut praline and a scoop of fig ice cream, we dare you to leave a bit on your plate.
Sydney’s Cruise Bar is always a go to for an afterwork drink, or a Saturday session, but we’re putting it back on the map for dinner too, because Cook For Syria showcases not just some serious skill in the kitchen, but also serious compassion for those in need.
Levels 1, 2, 3 Circular Quay West