Cruise Bar at Circular Quay has been around since 2001 and after a year long hiatus, it has returned with major refurbishments across all three levels.
Junk Lounge, Cruise Bar Sydney
Occupying the second level is Junk Lounge, named after Hong Kong harbour’s traditional vessels with mood lighting, a striking mural, a 24-seat communal dining table, and an elegant bar side area for reclining in colonial wooden chairs.
The Bar with Mural in the Background
The 18 strong cocktail list by Bar Manager Marco Oshiro is eclectic and original bringing Pan Asian influences with uniquely Australian flavours designed to impress the discerning drinker.
Marco Oshiron with Leathering Deep
Leathering Deep ($18) is the house leather-aged Negroni made with gin, Campari and sweet vermouth with Chinese five spice and pink salt. The flavour is a delicious explosion of spice and leather on the palate that lasts till the last drop.
Junk & T
Junk & T ($20) is a take on the classic Gin and Tonic made with Cambridge Distillery Japanese Gin, macadamia oil, dill, lychee, lemon and P.S. Soda bush tonic water. The drink is garnished with a pipette filled with macadamia oil.
This cocktail is all about taste and texture. When you sip it, you get the oily and viscous mouthfeel followed by the dryness of the gin and tonic along with herbaceous notes. The nuttiness of the oil present at the start starts to dissipate as you drink then comes back full circle – in other words, this drink a palate and a brain teaser.
The South-East Side ($18) is the go-to cocktail made with white rum, yuzu juice, wasabi, shaken and garnished with a mint leaf. The flavour is simply sensational with the wasabi notes lingering on the palate in balance with the citrus and rum. This drink makes a great choice for an aperitif and a palate cleanser before dinner.
With a tongue in cheek name, the Japanese Stripper ($20) combines Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve Single Malt Whisky with Cointreau Noir, House Lemon Thyme, Basil and Cucumber infused with Midori and Pink Grapefruit. This unusual drink is salty and sweet and tastes like an odd combination of salted caramel but with a savoury finish.
White Crane Style
White Crane Style ($20) is a take on the Paloma made with Blanco Tequila, Cointreau Camomille Liqueur, house pomelo and lemon myrtle soda. This is a refreshing drink that is great for summer with the flavours of the agave and bitter sweet citrus taking centre stage.
Maiden Voyage ($21) is a take on a vodka martini with house-made and clarified red cabbage and apple infused vodka, Maidenii Dry Vermouth, bitters and walnut oil. This savoury drink with the nuttiness of the oil coming through is a most enjoyable cocktail to sip on as you watch the ferries glide across the harbour.
Ron’s Well Grounded
Two ritual cocktails feature on the menu. The first is Ron’s Well Grounded (Pour over Ritual) ($30) with Ron Zacapa Rum, Crème De Cacao Blanc, Ground Coffee, Orange Bitters, Grapefruit Bitters and Mint. If you’re into Espresso Martinis, this drink is the one. You get the burnt notes of coffee and caramel and the richness of the 23 yo rum. Simply sensational.
Ao Oni or the Mizuwari Ritual is usually made with Johnnie Walker Blue Label ($50). The ritual is based on the perfect serve, where whisky is cut with water. In a mixing glass, ice and water are stirred rigorously and patiently until the water turns very cold. “This drink a test of the bartender’s banter”, Marco Oshiro explains.
In essence, it’s the last drink you have and brings together tradition and ritual to the art of drinking.
The Communal Table at Junk Lounge
Junk Lounge offers a dining experience like no other, in full view of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House at most affordable prices.
Occupying one section of the venue is the Communal Table hand-made from Oregon seating 24 persons. The menu impresses with a range of starters to share, charcoal grills, sizeable mains and sweets.
Edamame & Green Tea Salt, Lotus Root Chips with a Spicy Yuzu Salsa
Start with the Edamame and Green Tea Salt ($5) which arrive steaming hot. With the savoury green tea salt, it’s difficult to stop at just a few. The Lotus Root Chips with a Spicy Yuzu Salsa ($9) is a sizable entrée, with a salsa that is salty, sour, spicy with a dash of heat. Don’t finish it right away, the dish makes a good palate cleanser between courses.
Bacon & Eggs on toast
Bacon and Eggs on Toast ($7 each) is a fun dish with three quail eggs, pancetta, toasted katsu breadcrumbs and a drizzle of Kewpie mayo and BBQ sauce. They’re beautifully smoked and crisp and one to order again.
Black Bean Beef Rib & Kim Chi Steam Bun
Sink your teeth into the Black Bean Beef Rib & Kim Chi Steam Bun ($6 each). The buns are light and fluffy encasing the sweet meat.
Malay Chicken Catay Ckewers
Not your ordinary satay, the Malay Chicken Satay Skewers ($9) come with beautifully tender and succulent chicken pieces with a dash of heat and lingering nuttiness.
Split King Prawns with Truffled Yuzu Butter
The Split King Prawns with Truffled Yuzu Butter ($24) are not to be missed. They pack a lot of flavour that you’d want to suck on the heads when you finish.
Hainan Chicken & Rice with Chilli, Ginger and Crispy Onions
From the main courses, the Hainan Chicken and Rice with Chilli, Ginger & Crispy onions ($36) is a generous serve and one that fully satisfies. The chicken is tender and succulent,
Chinese Broccoli, Tofu, Water Chestnut and Ginger
and all you need is to pair it with Chinese Broccoli, Tofu, Water Chestnut and Ginger ($12) for a delicious and healthy dose of greens.
Chocolate & Green Tea doriyaki, Sesame Ball with Split Bean, Coconut & Caramel
Leave room for the Sesame Ball with Split Bean, Coconut & Caramel ($8) made with rice flour, sweet potato and covered in sesame seeds in a rich coconut milk. It’s delicious and comes served hot. One is good enough to share.
Alternatively, there is the Chocolate and Green Tea Doriyaki ($6) which is a staple Japanese dessert, much like a pancake or a pikelet filled with creamy chocolate and green tea.
The Junk Lounge experience entices you to come back, be it for a date night, a catch up over tasty fare with friends or simply to take a seat at the bar and enjoy a range of innovative cocktails that you’ll tell your friends about. Don’t be surprised if at some point during the evening, the cocktails and the food take centre stage and you forget you’re dining amongst one of the best views of Sydney Harbour, skyline and Circular Quay.
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Cruise Bar, Junk Lounge – Level 2
1-3, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West NSW 2000
Wed & Thurs 5pm to Midnight; Fri & Sat 5pm to 1am; Sun 5pm to midnight
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