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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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.