Looking for a rooftop bar on a sunny day for sunset cocktails? Zephyr is the Hyatt Regency Hotel's bar that has sweeping views of Darling Harbour below from its 12th floor rooftop location. There is an extensive cocktail menu as well as tasty food options in the superyacht themed bar.
Zephyr (meaning a gentle breeze or wind) is the Hyatt Regency's superyacht themed rooftop bar designed by Bates Smart with a nautical theme from the ropes to the shape of the bar itself. Access to Zephyr bar is from the ground floor where guests check in and are led to the dedicated lift upstairs to the 12th floor.
Hot tip: couples are mostly seated on bar seating at the edge of the bar so they get a view of Darling Harbour below. Larger groups are seated at regular tables that curve along the ropes. As it is raining we are sitting at these tables which are a bit more comfortable and given the rainy outlook we don't feel like we are missing out on anything.
The two most popular cocktails on the menu are the Coco Mango and the Raspberry Skyline. The Mango Coco is pure tropical holiday with mango infused Pampero Blanco rum, mango puree, kaffir lime leaves with mango liqueur topped up and nitro coconut foam. It is then served over ice with candied mango and kaffir lime leaves. The Raspberry Skyline has Ketel One vodka, raspberry liqueur, fresh raspberry, lemon juice, cane syrup served in a martini glass with fresh raspberry and popping sugar rim. You do have to drink the raspberry skyline straight away to have the poprocks. This is quite a sweet cocktail and Mr NQN's favourite while I enjoy the Coco Mango because it helps remind me of holidays.
We start with half a dozen oysters. These are enormous Pacific oysters served with a lemongrass vinegar. The lemongrass flavour isn't very strong and I think these would be great just with a wedge of lemon.
The sushi is pre-made so the rice does have a chill on it. Also I'm surprised that when it is described to us as salmon as it's not raw salmon. Instead it's actually quite a strongly smoked salmon.
The lobster popcorn is a must order and comes with an aromatic truffle aioli, Szechuan salt and furikake seasoning. It's a good sized dish and the lobster is very tender and moreish dipped in the truffle aioli. It's definitely my favourite item on the menu tonight along with the pork tacos, poke, ice cream cocktail and matcha dessert.
I was excited to see caviar on the menu but the presentation and proportions is a little confusing. The Osetra Sturgeon caviar is served on a small mother of pearl demitasse spoon with Pepe Saya crème fraiche, chives and chopped egg but the proportion of caviar isn't sufficient and there's just enough for one blini. I've also never really had crispy blinis before, they're usually soft and pliable but these are indeed crisp and thin and quite large for blinis. I probably should have known that there wouldn't be much caviar given the price but I don't think that the proportions worked and this would be better as a caviar bump with a shot.
Another favourite item is the tuna and avocado poke. It's chopped, raw tuna with seaweed, sesame oil and cashew nuts with a lotus root chip. We put some of this on the leftover crispy blinis and it's very tasty.
Another must order are the pork tacos that form part of the snack menu. These are made with spicy pulled pork, black beans, corn relish, sour cream, oaxaca cheese, lime and smashed avocado.
As expected the cocktail menu is extensive and there's a couple of pages of dessert cocktails with a section for soft serve cocktails. Mr NQN loves bananas so he goes with their suggestion of a Cheeky Monkey soft serve cocktail with Ketel one vodka, Tempus banana liqueur, Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, banana puree, served over vanilla soft serve ice cream in a martini chiller glass with banana chips and chocolate straws. It's a great dessert cocktail idea and a fun and tasty way of having your cocktail and dessert in one.
The desserts are small so we decide to try all of them. I love the matcha pineapple upside down cake served with hot condensed milk. The first bite tastes almost savoury but once I have another I'm really into this combination.
Mr NQN loves the deep fried Boost bar served wtih grape molasses and almond granola. It's crunchy, sticky from the hot caramel and chocolatey rich.
He also enjoys the deep fried ice cream with rose petal syrup which is a change from the caramel or chocolate sauce you usually get with deep fried ice cream.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you tend to order food at bars or just drinks? Do you have a favourite rooftop bar?
NQN and Mr NQN were guests of the Hyatt Regency but all opinions remain her own.
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Level 12/161 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000
Tuesday to Friday 3–11pm Wednesday