Harbourside dining is certainly one of the best advantages of living in Sydney. Dotted around Sydney harbour there is a labyrinth of well known haunts, as well as hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
In Kirribilli, we've found one such gem housed right on the waterfront and next to Milson Park. Outside the sign announces Sydney Flying Squadron as Australia's Oldest Open Sailing Boat Club.
Sydney Flying Squadron, founded in 1891, is the birthplace of the famous Sydney Harbour sailing skiff classes. It was founded by Mark Foy to allow people to enjoy skiff sailing regardless of financial background.
So, it is fitting that the new restaurant refurbishment pays homage to the history, and is named Foys Kirribilli.
The large room sets adjoining tables lengthways, giving all a view of Sydney Harbour, and the contemporary update sees light timber tables, black backed chairs matched with black wipe-down tablecloths. The menu from first time restaurateur (though experienced cafe owner) Adam Marshall, offers club friendly prices with starters like Calamari fritti from $16 right through to the ultimate seafood share plate with the tender fried calamari teamed with grilled prawns, lemon and thyme bbq octopus and pan seared market fish of the day for just $55. Fish for our lunch, on a stormy November Sydney day, was pan fried barramundi. The rest of the starters include seafood offerings of the grilled prawns ($16) as a dish on their own, and Tasmanian salmon cured in tequila, lime and cumin with crème fraiche, sourdough wafer and dill leaves ($17). A substantial cured meats and cheese plate demonstrate the value that Foys Kirribilli has to offer.
Still, given the harbour view, we'd like to see more seafood on the menu. Yet the mains are mostly pub food, which is great for the patronage, and seem the most popular orders. Beef sausages, Paris mash & peas with onion gravy ($18), Foys beef burger with fries ($20), Chicken schnitzel with southern style slaw ($21) and Grain fed Scotch fillet with chips and salad ($27) are all adorable old school. And there's a Beer battered fish and chips ($22) that we'll be sailing back in to try. If the fish of the day is anything to go by, it will be tender and tasty.
Perhaps the best value though is the large selection of four generous share plates, the Squadron seafood plate included. Also for sharing are Crispy roast chicken with cauliflower puree and chimichurri ($33), Whole roasted lemon sole with citrus & caper dressing ($31) and Slow roasted lamb shoulder with rosemary aioli ($34). Salads and side are also generous and reasonable. Kirribilli locals must be clapping their hands.
The bar is club priced too, with an extensive club list from sparkling and cocktails (starting with Red Sangria by the glass or litre jug), wines, bottled and tap beers. Just the place for a long Pimms, we reckon. Declared on paper is also a list of a dozen whiskies. With Diageo as spirits partner, there - as a whisky lover might expect - is a Diageo range from Johnny Walker Red and Black through to Talisker Storm and Bulleit Bourbon and Rye Premium.
Situated next to the Ensemble Theatre, the new Foys Kirribilli also is terrific as a pre-theatre dinner or drinks option.
Even newer downstairs is waterfront sandwich cafe Flying Bear which launched this week and continues the Bear theme of entrepreneur Adam Marshall, from his Bird and Bear café in Elizabeth Bay. While guests will need to sign in to Sydney Flying Squadron to experience the flavours of Foys, the Flying Bear café also has a ground level entrance from the park next door.
|76 McDougall Street|
|02 9955 8350|
Tue – Sun midday – 10pm