Helm Bar – Sydney CBD

June 22, 2012
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Although it’s been a cold week in Sydney, it hasn’t rained (touch wood) which Sydneysiders are pretty glad about. Me, I’m on the fence. I have conflicting opinions of rain depending on which body part you speak to. My hair for example, hates rain. Hates it! The girly part of my brain also hates rain, I think just by association (from my hair), but also as it went to all the trouble of GHDing my hair and fringe, only to have it ruined by a mere couple of drops. It’s just frustrating really.

My feet on the other hand, love rain! Well, they love rain in my wellies. They can walk through shin height puddles with the greatest of ease and they snicker (quietly of course) at other wet Sydney feet thinking to themselves “I bet they wish they had wellies like us”. This in turn, makes the childlike part of my brain happy. Doing leaps in to puddles – in a very adult-like way…of course 😉

So as much as part of me is sad when it rains and makes me want to hide away inside with a heater and some Geordie Shore re-runs, if I’m out and wearing my wellies, I’m a pretty happy camper (or leaper?).

Last week, was actually one of those weeks. It was miserable, dark at 2pm and raining all day. So of course that was the day that I had organised a lunch with Cath (one of the girls from work), at Helm Bar to try their new menu!

We walked down, umbrellas in hand and wellies on feet, in the rain. Randomly, there were cu-raaaaazy peeps going for mid lunch runs. That’s bad enough when it’s not raining but when it is, you loco esse!

We arrived at Helm and were glad to see what they had heaters on the balcony so although it was all outdoor (still with a roof though), we weren’t freezing! First order of business? A cheeky lunch time cocktail please sir! Unfortunately Matt lets us know that they hadn’t received any strawberries that day so the Thai Berry was out (A summer delight of muddled strawberries with a clap of Thai basil & a long pour of vodka, served short & extra refreshing) which was a shame, but I have heard good things about it so I’ll definitely be back for that. Instead, Matt asks is I have a bit of a cold (I did sound pretty awful after getting over my lurgy) and suggests the Sexy Saint (St Germain liquor shaken vigorously with a mix of chilli, lemon juice & honey. Adventurous and not so saintly! – $18) so putting myself in his trusting hands, I go with it. Cath decides on a Champagne Cocktail (Grand Marnier stirred with bitters & a sugar cube, topped with sparkling wine. Boys don’t be fooled by the name $16). Classic choice. Love a good champs!

While we wait for our cocktails, we have a little squiz at the menu. Both of us ummed and ahhed and asked for advice for quite a while, before deciding on the Seafood Paella (w/ Chorizo Sausage, Mussels, Calamari and Prawns – $25) which was recommended by Matt as one of his faves, and the Vegetarian Pasta (w/ Fettuccini, Roasted Pumpkin, Spinach, Goats Cheese & Pine Nuts – $19).

Shortly after, our cocktails arrived. I love cocktails! They’re so pretty and girly haha (that must be the part of my brain that hates rain talking). With the first sip of my Sexy Saint, I can instantly see why this is perfect for sick people. It’s wonderfully honey-lemony with a kick of chilli at the end. Its by no means overpowering but it does kick the back of your throat at you swallow. It cleared up my blocked nose pretty well haha.

Cath’s champs was a pretty blushing orangey pink colour and she really enjoyed it.

When our meals arrived at the table, I was slightly surprised at my paella. Don’t get me wrong, it looked delicious and smelt great, but it was a little more on the risotto side. Actually, I would call it a Spanish risotto. Beautifully cooked seafood and great fatty chunks of chorizo, but no crispy bottom that’s significant with a good paella, more of a creamy texture. So flavourful though and not at all a bad dish, it was really quite delicious! Just not paella in the traditional sense.

Cath really liked her fettuccini, the only criticism she had was that it was packed with spinach which she felt self-conscious about it being in her teeth lol. But other than that, she said it was really nice.

Stud and I have been to Helm quite a few times and I have also gone down for a couple of work lunches. It’s definitely a handy little joint with a great view and great food. Im slowly working my way through their menu but had never had any of their cocktails before. After these ones, I’ll be ordering them also and work my way through that too haha.

Dining with a Stud attended as guests of Helm Bar and Wasamedia

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16 Responses to Helm Bar – Sydney CBD

  1. Choc Chip Uru on June 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Aaah the rain! Kudos my friend I half love and half hate it!
    Your dinner looks like the perfect way to feel warn in our cold weather!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Hotly Spiced on June 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I want some wellies! This looks like a lovely place to dine but what a shame about the grey skies and rain! Everything is so much better on a sunny day! xx

  3. joanne on June 23, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I want that pasta! Now! Sounds so delicious even with all the spinach.

  4. GourmetGetaways on June 24, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Wow!!! It all looks so good, the Helm Bar has been added to my dining list for the next time Mr GG and I are in Sydney.

    The champagne cocktail I will be making well before then though 😉 delish!

    Lol! You and I must have the same hair 🙁

  5. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy on June 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    that fettucini is making my mouth water! what gorgeous meals you both had!

  6. Miss Piggy on June 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Cocktails at lunch – oh my, I’d be on the floor under my desk all arvo if I did that. Food looks lovely, though I’m with you – Paella MUST have a crunchy bottom.

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook on June 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Yeah I can see from the picture that this Paella is more like risotto… It looks nice but you were expecting to eat paella and this came…such a disappointment! Spinach fettuccini sounds awesome. 🙂

  8. muppy on June 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    mmmm cocktail lunch in the rain! sounds perfect 🙂

  9. Tenille @ My Family Table on June 25, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I’m loving the sound of that lemon, homey, and chilli cocktail!

  10. Daniel on June 25, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I have actually been there and had both dishes, I work in the city and pop down maybe once every couple of weeks. The paella is to die for,anyway its awesome!! The vege pasta is amazing also one of my favs!!

  11. Iron Chef Shellie on June 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

    hmmm, definitely not a traditional paella that’s for sure! Still, it looks good 🙂

  12. Adrian (Food Rehab) on June 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    At least after all the rain, you got to eatz some comfort food! i.e. carbs LOL

  13. penny aka jeroxie on June 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    it is a nice place indeed. And I do love the sexy saint!

  14. SarahKate@Mi Casa-Su Casa on June 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    My wellies are pretty much my very favourite shoes! My hair hates the rain as well! I’m frizzy city when it’s damp outside!

  15. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on June 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I am conflicted about rain too. I don’t mind it if I don’t have to go out but I’m not happy if I have to go out! But I also have an umbrella collection that I love too 😛

  16. Winston on June 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I love it when a place is so good and decent that you keep finding yourself coming back, and slowly working your way through to the entire menu. It’s kinda rare to have places that are so consistent these days to make you want to do that. This place is yeeeeerrmy and awesome location too =]

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These views are mine and mine only. I don't claim to be any kind of professional food critic, I just know what I do and don't like and express accordingly. Please contact me first if you wish to use any of my images for another purpose.