If you had asked me a few weeks ago where I would take interstate or overseas visitors for a reasonably-priced meal with a view of Sydney Harbour, I would have taken them to Opera Kitchen. There are downsides to this though – it’s not the best location when the weather is anything less cheerful than blue skies and sunshine, and unless you’re very into the drinking scene, it can be a bit ‘much’.
That’s all changed now though – I’ve found my new favourite ‘meal with a view’ restaurant on Sydney Harbour that won’t break the bank. The cafe on the fourth floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA Cafe and Sculpture Terrace) is a real hidden gem with amazing views over Circular Quay and Sydney Harbour.
We visited on a stormy weekend after doing a wet weather Sydney Bridge Climb with my 10-year-old nephew who was visiting us for a week and a half during his Hong Kong summer school holidays. It’s a little bit later than lunchtime, so we managed to walk straight in and grab a table to sit down and peruse the menu. All ordering is done at the counter at the front of the cafe
K ordered the house-made old-fashioned lemonade, claiming extreme thirst and tiredness after our strenuous Bridge Climb. My nephew laughed when he saw it as he’s not used to the idea of having mint in cold drinks and thought that it was hilarious to have VEGETABLES in a DRINK, that’s CRAZY! Crazily delicious and refreshing, that’s what it was!
My nephew was keen to think of himself as being an adult, and refuseed to order a kids meal. Instead, he chose the butcher’s steak as one of the options that he actually recognised but found it a bit too rare for his liking. He was confused by the celeriac as a flavour that he had never encountered before and I think he ended up wishing that he just ordered the kids cheeseburger.
K ordered the roasted salmon which comes out with a crackly sticky sweet skin. I couldn’t stop myself from stealing a few of his rosemary kipfler potatoes – the potato skins are deliciously crispy and more-ish.
My salad was surprisingly hearty. I only had one of the crisp tostadas (my nephew steole the others), but I chowed down hungrily on the tart Mulloway ceviche and crunchy quinoa grains. The salad as a whole was actually a bit too tart for complete enjoyment – almost as though they added extra salad dressing on top of the sour lemon ceviche dressing.
I’ll be back to MCA Cafe with visitors to Sydney – not for the food options which are similar to the options from every third “Modern Australian” cafe, but for the glorious views over Sydney Harbour.