Sydney Cove Oyster Bar goes Great Gatsby for heritage Broome Shinju Matsuri feast
After Rob Broadfiels's food review in July, we are featuring again in The West Australian with our recent event Pearl Masters Dining Experience.
“Sydney Cove Oyster Bar goes Great Gatsby for heritage Broome Shinju Matsuri feast"
"An evening of glitz and glamour descended on Broome for the very first Pearl Masters dining experience at the town’s recently re-homed Sydney Cove Oyster Bar this week.
With nods to the beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and its many film adaptations, The Great Gatsby theme came to life in spectacular fashion with both waitstaff and guests adorning beautiful pearls while being entertained by the talented Jamie Jackett and her band-of-five.
The menu, drawing inspiration from the Shinju Matsuri festival’s celebration of Broome’s rich multicultural history, saw dumplings, pearl meat and red snapper paired with wines from across Australia in a tantalising taste bud experience which again proved the restaurant deserving of their recent ‘Best Seafood Restaurant in WA’ award.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar owner Phil Thompson said the exclusive night, which would only sit two more times during the festival, was born out of the desire to join the Shinju Matsuri Festival activities .
“Realising that Shinju was the festival of the pearl, we thought taking the menu back to what Broome would’ve been like in the 20s when the pearl luggers would roll into town and had a big feast at the pearl master’s house would be appropriate,” he said.
“The idea was looking at what they would’ve eaten in those days and adapting our menu to reflect that — the Japanese and Malay influences combined with a bit of Broome.
“We started to think what else was the 20s about. It was music and glamour, sort of Great Gatsby-esque, and while that might not have been exactly what was happening in Broome, everyone was feasting and dressed up, just having a celebration of what was hopefully a successful pearl season.”
The evening began with house made prawn and pork dumplings served in a mix of black rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and chilli oil, followed by some local Willie Creek pearl meat carpaccio with a hint of Malaysian curry paste.
A somewhat surprising watermelon sashimi was next up, proving hard to distinguish from tuna in both sight and texture after being marinated for hours.
A different take on a Broome favourite fish soup saw a generous serving of red snapper in clear Chinese style broth, before the premium, melt-in-your-mouth MBS7+ wagyu sirloin with lotus root and miso glaze topped the mains off.
Guests were then treated to a petit chocolate four with matcha cream to end the night.
Aside from the the fantastic food, perfect service and jovial entertainment, a best dressed prize, won by Tracey Gilchrist at the first sitting, saw guests congratulated for joining the theme and looking the part."
Sam Jones, 24 August 2021
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar won the Best Seafood Restaurant prize in WA
"New Broome restaurant tops seafood stakes in national hospitality award"
"Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has continued its story of success, being named one of WA’s best restaurants despite moving themselves and 17 staff across the country to continue operating.
Awarded the Best Seafood Restaurant in WA at the recent Restaurant and Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence, Sydney Cove seems to have made an impact less than half-a-year since first opening to WA patrons.
Held in each State, the awards see more than 280 judges provide feedback to the State judge chairs.
In last year’s NSW award, the restaurant was nominated in three categories — the most of any restaurant — and won the coveted People’s Choice which tallies all votes for a restaurant to find the best.
A recent glowing review of the restaurant by The West Australian’s food editor Rob Broadfield said the restaurant had not lost its touch, despite the 4000km move.
“Smooth, confident, informed, friendly but not in your face, anticipatory and, wait for it, professional,” he said.
Broadfield said despite the “low-key” decor making the restaurant look like a backyard shed inside, it was “without a doubt” now the finest restaurant in Broome.
“Good food. Great service. No fuss, super-casual ambience. Sydney’s loss is Broome’s gain. Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has raised the bar in Broome. It’s absolutely, positively, utterly delightful,” he said."
Rob Broadfield's latest review in The Western Australian
Rob Broadfield: "Sydney Cove Oyster Bar is Broome's best bar none"
"You can tell there’s a Sydney hospo crew at Broome’s oddly named Sydney Cove Oyster Bar. The service! My god, the service. Smooth, confident, informed, friendly but not in your face, anticipatory and, wait for it, professional. Broome’s service standards are improving, but Sydney Cove’s service levels are unlike anything Broome has seen before.
The extraordinary backstory to the creation of the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar goes some way to explaining why it stands out like a sore thumb in Broome. It traded for 33 years from a heritage building at Circular Quay in the heart of Sydney. It was a landmark and a much-loved go-to for seafood fans, locals, celebs and tourists. The owner, Phil Thompson, started it and ran it for all of those 33 years. He was asked to retender for the venue in 2020 — his landlord was the NSW Government — and although he spent more than $250,000 on his submission and had the benefit of incumbency, he was sent packing by a nightmarish bureaucracy which, from what we have seen of the decision-making (yes, we did our research), saw Thompson caught up in a Kafkaesque ordeal, which made the great writer’s book, The Trial, look less like a novel and more like an instruction book for NSW’s public sector jobsworths.
In his own words, Thompson “was gutted” and “didn’t know what to do.” In time, he dusted himself off and looked at his options. He had previously moved his family to Broome, for lifestyle reasons, so he had links here. Then things got interesting. Over a beer with key staff in Sydney, he wondered aloud whether any of them would be prepared to come to Broome and re-establish the restaurant. Astoundingly, 16 of his Sydney crew said yes. What followed was a trans-Australian road trip with staff, in a convoy of cars, stopping in at wine regions like the Clare Valley and Margaret River on their leisurely way to Broome.
The restaurant opened about a month ago. It’s a stunner. Don’t be put off by the low-key decor. It may look like a backyard shed inside, but it is without doubt now the finest restaurant in Broome.
Chefs and celebrity oyster shuckers (think WA’s Jerry Fraser — a cheerful shucker if ever there was one) often wince when talk turns to the beauty of a good oyster Kilpatrick. It’s an abomination, they say. We disagree. Sydney Cove’s Kilpatricks, $5.50 each, are exceptional, a nice combo of salty sauce, umami boldness, fatty bacon and just warmed oysters. We tried them ungarnished, too. Equally brilliant. Oysters are flown direct to the restaurant: no middle man in Perth means they’re not waiting in a cool room for a couple of days before being delivered to Broome.
Fish tacos, $24 for two, are as big as Barnaby Joyce’s ego. Massive in other words. Large fingers of blue spot emperor were beer battered and deep fried. The batter was crackly and light. It was perched atop a cabbage slaw with coriander and a base of jalapeno mayonnaise. The tortillas were warm and soft. There’s nothing spectacular about fish tacos — everyone’s doing them these days — but these were best in breed and proof that a chef with a brain and skills can make a mere taco into something out of the ordinary.
The plate licker of the day was torched scallops, a deceptively simple cold dish of halved, raw scallops given a quick sear with a blow torch and plated with wakame, edamame beans and dressed simply in a ponzu and wasabi sauce. It was extravagant in its simplicity. Flavours were clean, balanced and razor sharp. $24.
Prawn toast was made on a base of seeded sourdough from Broome baker Madpakken. It was slathered with a mousse of king prawns, egg white, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Coated in sesame seeds at the last minute, the toast was deep fried and served with yuzu mayo. Brilliant.
Good food. Great service. No fuss, super-casual ambience. Sydney’s loss is Broome’s gain. Sydney Cove Oyster Bar has raised the bar in Broome. It’s absolutely, positively, utterly delightful."
We've come a long way!
Our exciting new location is at Zookepers Store near the famous Cable Beach in WA. It took us one month to relocate Oyster Bar from Sydney to Broome for about 4000kms away.
We didn't bring just our equipment from Sydney but also our management, kitchen and floor team as well.
Now our doors are open and we are trying to bring the premium casual dining to Broome that we were well known for in Sydney.
Sydney Cove Oyster Bar sizzles at Restaurant And Catering Awards
We are very proud of what we have achieved and continue to achieve at The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar – a restaurant of world class, an unique icon of Sydney, loved by locals, interstate and international travellers.
We were nominated finalists in three (3) categories at the Restaurant and Catering Hostplus Awards announced last night, the only restaurant to achieve so many nominations. These awards are the most dependable and authoritative guide to Australia's best restaurants.
The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar was Sydney Finalist in the Peoples’ Choice restaurant. This category totals all votes for particular restaurants and the one with the most votes wins.
And guess what – The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar WON!!! It means the world to us that you folk out there think so highly of us that you nominated us. The quality of your dining experience with us is at the forefront of what we have always wanted to achieve. Thank you for your nominations.
We were a finalist in the Informal Seafood restaurant of the year for NSW. Anonymous trained judges were appointed. They applied the Association and Catering Evaluation System (RACES). By the use of multiple surveys, the criteria for this category were developed and looked at reservations, décor, atmosphere, food, beverage, service, staff and overall dining experience. Just as importantly, the judges were independent of the R&C and were trained in the application of RACES.
Our third nomination went to Krzysztof Swiecinski in the category of Chef of the Year NSW. Anyone who has seen the cramped conditions in which Kris works will marvel at how he creates such astonishing food.
A great night for us and vindication for persisting with our premier product, oysters.
08 December 2020
So once again, thank you for your on-going support. We are so very proud and honoured by the support you gave us.
A Striking Innovation at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar : Oyster Masterclass!
The first oyster masterclass was successfully ran by hosting 16 food & travel influencers at Sydney Cove Oyster Bar. 12 different types of Australian oysters were served with perfectly matching hand-picked Semillon, Riesling and Sake by our wine sommelier Barnaby Fallows. It was a totally unique event which has never been tried in any similar venue before that we know of. 7 creamy, sweet, mineral tasting Sydney rock oysters followed by 4 salty, vegetal, crisp Pacific oysters and the final one was the native Australian mud flat oyster, the Angasi with a full rich flavour. We’re glad to see that everybody loved the taste of the oysters and learning how taste can vary from one region to another. We would like to thank Tim Dumbrell, Tom Rupnik and our head-chef Kris Swiecinski, general manager Laura Sanna and marketing manager Derya Uzum for running the event smoothly and being amazing hosts and also a big thanks to all guests for accepting our invitation and joining in on our first oyster masterclass. Stay tuned for the next masterclass!
10 November 2019