Stepping out of the Hyatt Regency lifts and into Zepyhr Bar used to feel like stepping onto a sky bound ocean liner. Today feels quite different, this is more like hopping aboard a sleek Mediterranean yacht which is cruising around the French Riviera.
It is 6:30 pm, and the atmosphere is ablaze with warmth reminiscent of a botanical garden. Picture pink bougainvillaea (let’s affectionately call them ‘mock’ plants!) casting a misty glow over the bar and dining areas, thanks to efficient cooling machines working at full tilt.
We settle into generous blue cushioned wicker chairs. The new look retains its fabulous curves with a single sweeping white leather banquet on one side, paired with a wall depicting vibrant printed scenes of Mediterranean boats and coastal beaches. Waiter ‘yachties’’ dart around dressed in blue & white striped tops as cold iced water is immediately placed on our table.
Zephyr has a mighty fine cocktail list. But this heat calls for a cold beer. With a friendly smile, a Little Creatures appears along with Hungerford Hill Chardonnay.
The menu is divided into Classics, (think antipasti boards), Pieces, All Hands on Deck (throw away your knife and fork) and Showpieces.
We skip Classics and kick off with a KFC Slider. A glossy milk bun is stuffed with Korean spiced chicken thigh, gochujang sauce and a topping of asian slaw which cuts through the richness. All Hands on Deck is a riot of wasabi-spiked tuna ceviche which makes for ‘cracker combo’ when you include a dollop of avo scooped up by a cassava cracker. It’s our favourite of the night* (*see below on lobster popcorn!)
Spanner crab cakes, while a tad dull, find redemption when a mini basket of deep fried nuggety pieces of chicken arrive. They are dusted in a finger lickin’ secret Dorado rub and it’s so good, we order a second. My dining buddy, Ms T, is gluten free and there aren’t many options on the menu so a second order is both lust and fury! Truffle mushroom and parmesan arancini do what they say, but it’s three panko crusted orbs containing snow white, feather light goats cheese which win my heart. I am team ‘fried goats cheese balls’ all the way. Credit to the chefs for going beyhond the ‘A’ ball into a new creative zone.
Now, this is the point at which I feel really bad for Ms T as we kick off the ‘Showpiece’ menu as a half lobster arrives. Oh boy! Yummo! It’s been deconstructed into lobster popcorn and dusted with salt bush. I pick one up and dunk into a puddle of saffron-rémoulade sauce. I do feel bad, I do, but then, umm, that does mean more for me? – oh heck, YAY! This should be their signature dish and for $39.50 it’s an absolute steal for a generous mound of juicy (not dry) sweet fleshy flavour bombs. Don’t feel too bad for her, a single skewer of juicy lamb seekh kebab keeps her happy ($32).
It’s a new voyage from menu to interior design which befits a bar which has a lot to live up to, especially when you consider it has one the largest rooftop waterfront viewing areas in the city including spectacular sunsets over Darling Harbour. This is one boat which has set sail and we will jump aboard for another adventure
Zephyr Sky Bar Sydney, Hyatt Regency Sydney, Level 12,161 Sussex St
Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Monday: Closed. Tues – Thurs:3:00pm – 10:00pm, Fri:
3:00pm – 12:00am, Sat: 2:00pm – 12:00am, Sun: 2:00pm – 10:00pm