Bar Reviews

Friday Happy : Deep Fried Monaco Bars

The Norfolk, pub, clevelend st, surry hills, deep fried monaco bar, icecream, dessert, review

The last few weeks have been H-U-G-E for me. And it’s starting blend into one-big-blur.

I was hoping things would settle down a little. But alas, I’ve had some very exciting news – too early to tell you peeps – but I assure you it’s-a-goodie. So until my weeks settle down and I have time to breathe – I’ll be enjoying many a midweek $10 steak at the Norfy (my work local) while my weekends are choc-a-block with foodie shenanigans. Then I’ll be finishing the night off with a deep fried Monaco bar.

YES, you read right.

Deep fried + Monaco = Deep fried Monaco bar ($8)

Pretty naughty, but oh so midweek great. Eating this midweek means getting to Friday is so much easier. Can you even imagine if I ate this on a Friday? It would send my weekends into automatic-excitement-overdrive. I think I may just try that – if an opportunity arises!


305 Cleveland St
Surry Hills NSW
P (02) 9699 3177

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Judge my way

Do you ever judge by association? I’m guilty, do-it-all-the-time. Old habits, don’t die.

Newtown – hippies (not in a bad way) and crap Vietnamese food.
Cabramatta – little Vietnam and cracker Vietnamese food.
Surry Hills – cafe central and hipsters galore.
Darling Harbour – tourists, families and fireworks.
Cockle Bay – *doof doof*, closely followed by that pocket-draining-poor-excuse for a hot dog at Cargo, that I wish I’d never encountered.

So when Helm Bar landed in my lap for a dinner date, I was, ummm, a little un-excited. Located ‘technically’ in Darling Harbour – but in my eyes – close enough to the Cockle Bay side. There were visions of night-goers half my age, that make me feel too old for my boots, whilst the sounds of *doof doof* tunes blare in the background, as I try and munch my food n’ sip my cocktail.

Boy, was I wrong. Once I stepped foot onto the upper deck of Helm Bar it was like I’d been handed a little bubble of calmness.

TAKE THE STAIRS TO Escape the hipsters to the right and the snap-happy tourists to the left

It’s not filled with the corporate types for that ‘after-work-drink’ but a real mixed casual crowd. Helm Bar is for those wanting to have a cold drink with some good hearty food, whilst watching the sun go down over the harbour – a pretty simple request hey?! This is all I wanted and it did deliver. Two-fold.

The drinks – The sexy saint cocktail blew my mind (if only Val Kilmer came with it). Matt tells me, the secret is in the starter syrup of; St Germain elderflower liquor, chilli, honey and a squeeze of lemon. At first sip, you get the heat from the chilli, but it mellows out as you swallow and the sweetness of the honey comes through – with no nasty post cocktail aftertaste (another pet hate). It’s a total. bloody. winner. This is what I’ll be back for.

The food – tasty, generous and there’s even a few deserts on the menu. The perfectly cooked n’ tender steak did give my favourite ‘Carlisle Castle’ steak a run for it’s money – simply by the sauce (I feel like I’m channeling Manu here). I wanted more of that green peppercorn sauce! The paella hit the spot, with lashings of fresh seafood, big-fat-mussels and the moist rice went down all-too-well. Along with a few obligatory fries dipped in aioli. Hey, fries are something you have to get, no matter what suburb you’re in - it’s a must!

So I put both hands up and gladly admit – YES, I was judgemental. And I shouldn’t be. Helm Bar, I’ll be back. For that memorable cocktail and a cheeky steak.

I love to start a meal with a good-cold-cocktail, don't you?

This one's a Thai Berry cocktail and considering it's been rain, rain, rain - I wanna have a bit of summer-in-one-sip

A good muddle, really gets those flavours going

Shaved ice?! Yep, this one's gonna be a goodie

Yummm, it's cold and goes down pretty easy

Of course, I can't stop at one - besides, I hear the cocktail menus inspired by quite a few Bali trips

This is the 'secret' syrup starter that totally makes this cocktail marvellous

While Matt shakes things up, I'm slightly nervous - chilli n' cocktail, not exactly a combo I was thrilled about

Here it comes...

This beauty is enough to make me want to have about three in a row - total chilli cocktail convert

And, secretly come nab a table and watch the sun go down

Cruisy-casual, really refreshing in this part of town

I did sample a few things off the menu, this paella was large and definitely let the seafood shine

This baby made me weak at the knees

Perfectly cooked and utterly tender, and that sauce was doubled as an added dipping sauce for...

...these yummy fries. The aoili was tops too.

This steaks not for sharing. I hear the there's $10 steak nights on Tuesdays - ummm sauce you-and-I are gonna meet again soon

Can't leave without a little decadent chocolate cake

Cherry and chocolate totally speaking my food-guage

Who gets the last bit, me of course!


Aquarium Wharf Wheat Road,
Darling Harbour  NSW 2000
P (02) 9290 1571

Thai Berry Cocktail $16
The Sexy Saint cocktail $17
Seafood Paella with Chorizo Sausage, Mussels, Calamari and Prawns $25
300g Black Angus Scotch Fillet Chargrilled with Fries & Green Peppercorn Sauce $26
Decadence Chocolate Cake with Fresh Berry Coulis $8

THE GOOK dined as a guest of Helm Bar.

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