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Sydney: Opera Bar

Opera Bar is one of those never-fail, so-Sydney, spectacular venues, absolutely perfect for taking out-of-towners to... or just when you need a dose of Sydney Harbour yourself.

Right on the lower concourse level of the Sydney Opera House (between Circular Quay and the Opera House), Opera Bar has a frontal view of the Harbour Bridge. If you don't mind tourists, it is the perfect outdoor location to sit and watch either people or the ferries gliding into and out of the Quay.

View from Opera Bar

I met a friend here to have a good-and-proper catch-up, the kind that covers why we are here in the universe, what our next moves are, and how happy we are about everything. The sun was out full-blast and there were no tables with umbrellas or shade left, so we hijacked a bar table and moved it partly into the shade. I got burnt anyway (mainly on one side... trucker's arm, so attractive).

We both ordered the fish and chips, pricey and typical, but beautifully cooked and presented. My friend had never seen lemon served encased in muslin before (it contains any pips or excess spray when you squeeze it) - just one touch which belies this place's general classiness.

Being so accessible and large, Opera Bar can sometimes feel a little trashy on the inside, also at nighttime. Where to order and pick up your food and drinks is a little confusing, and the bar staff can seem a bit cold. It could also probably do with a bit of a facelift; it somehow seems tired. But that could be because it has been there for so long; it is such a stalwart. And naturally, any tiredness in decor or unimpressive service is certainly made up for by the spectacular view. The food and drinks are generally great, and there is often live music being performed out on the concourse. The floor staff outside this time were also much more friendly and efficient than I remembered or expected.

If you haven't been, go.

Lower concourse level, Opera House

Watching the boats pass by

Opera Bar on Urbanspoon

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