Customs House Bar
(part of Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel)
17 Macquarie Pl
Sydney CBD

Customs House Bar is transforming into one of the city's newest dining destinations, both inside and outside what is one of Sydney's oldest pubs. The outside seating, their main area, has rustic furniture, pretty hanging gardens, hedges, white picket fences and communal tables. This is absolutely ideal for people to enjoy a drink and a quick bite or a full meal. Customs House Bar is a casual fun place. They have nice quick meals - to cater for the lunch-time crowds and the food is kept at affordable prices. It's a beer pub and they have 20 "on tap" beers - that cater for every possible taste! When we arrived we could feel the "buzz" and the place was full with people eating, drinking and generally relaxing. There was a mixture of people including groups and couples that were settling in for a good night of food and drinks.

Hemant Dadlani - Executive Chef has put together an innovative, seasonal and very tasty menu. His inspiration has come from tropical places which are versatile - and it is evident in the menu.

Mlady started with a lovely Coldstream Hills Merlot from the Yarra Valley. This was a very nice drop as Mlady prefers the lighter tasting wines. Sir who has a preference for the medium to full bodied wines had the Saltram 1859 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley of which he enjoyed.

Mlady ordered the Cajun chicken breast burger, smashed avocado, perri mayonnaise on a Brioche bun. Chicken breast at times can be a bit dry - but this was certainly not the case here! It really was a very tasty burger with crisp lettuce and tomato. It arrived with oh so good chips in a cute bucket with the chips wrapped in "newspaper". It also included was a little bucket of tomato sauce. Dipping the yummy chips in the tomato sauce - nice! Mlady enjoyed this dish immensely.

We then had the oh so tender and very tasty Southern Highlands young chicken, asparagus, citrus salsa and watercress.

The asparagus was served as a side in a cute retro white enamel bowl. It was pretty enough to eat on its own!

The chicken was tender and juicy and the crispy skin made this a very enjoyable meal. It was a decent sized serving too - plenty there for a sharing plate or a big meal for one.

This was a colourful dish with the citrus salsa adding splashes of pastel on top of the chicken and even more colour coming from the floral adorned asparagus, all the flavours and textures - these all complemented one another.

Next was the Braised Galangal Beef short ribs - slow cooked for 18 hours, seasonal market vegetables with pine nut salt. This generous dish was incredibly tender and the meat was immersed in flavour. The basting had impregnated the meat and made for a wonderfully flavoured dish. The  market vegetables went so well with this great meal.

We ordered a salad and chose the Grilled Corella pear and witlof salad, spiced pecans, south cape blue cheese and burnt fig vinaigrette. This was an interesting mix of flavours and truly a mix of contrasts! Even Sir who is not a mad fan of salads as Mlady is - enjoyed this. Sir actually said "this is good".  Mlady literally fell in love with this salad and she is not a big fan of blue cheese. 
The pecans (from Mexico) certainly lived up to their description on the menu - spicy - lovely. This would have to be one of the "prettiest" salad dishes and the taste - well - AMAZING! Simply one of the best salads ever!

We had a few samples of the beers that Customs House Bar has on tap. Our first sample consisted of lighter coloured beers. These were Resche's draught - an Australian classic, Bees Knee's which is based on German wheat and an Alpha Pale ale. It was a nice selection of the pale beers. They were well paired with the dishes that we had.

The next selection was a sample of darker beers. These were Millers, Ruby Tuesday and White rabbit and again these were well paired with our meals. Mlady favours the darker beers whilst Sir drinks the lot!

We were also fortunate to try a couple of cocktails. Mlady had the Irish maid which is based on the Jamison Whisky St.Germain with fresh lime juice and mint. This was so refreshing - and oh so yummy. Great flavours and ideal for summer. Sir had - in an elegant champagne glass - Cafe Sombre - expresso martini with a tequila base with Mr. Black coffee liqueur. It was topped with a coffee bean. Mlady sneakily had a taste - and thought - oh this is good! Sir enjoyed the nice coffee flavour with an alcohol kick. It also had a nice froth on top and Sir ate the coffee bean - as you do.

We would like to give a huge thank you to Kelsie who looked after us on the night. Kelsie was energetic, passionate and educational in explaining everything to us that was on the menu. Her knowledge was commendable and her teaming of the wines, beers and cocktails was exemplary.

Special thanks to Hemant Dadlani - Executive chef for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit and chat with us and share his wonderfully flavoured and innovative menu.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Customs House Bar. Big thanks to Gabriella Lizzo for this invitation.

Customs House Bar - Marriott Sydney Harbour Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato