In Midcity Centre, next to its sibling Pinchy’s Lobster & Champagne Bar, Pearl is a sophisticated but approachable homage to one of food and drink’s perfect pairings: oysters and chablis.

Oysters and wine are undeniably compatible. But no varietal suits the mollusc’s distinct flavour quite like chablis. Produced in the northernmost region of Burgundy, France, the chardonnay grapes used for this style of dry white wine are grown in soil rich with fossilised oyster shells, infusing them with a mineral-heavy, saline flavour.

Throughout his travels across France, restaurateur Jeremy Schinck became infatuated with that culinary relationship, laying the foundation for this 30-seat bar, where diners are given the chance to try different chablis producers, vintages and appellations side by side.

Sydney rock oysters, caught fresh daily and stored in a temperature-optimised wine fridge until served, are the highlight. You can order them individually or as part of a degustation – a way to sample the best of the day’s selection, shucked on the spot.

Most oysters are served fresh here. But there is one warm option, torched lightly and served with kombu beurre blanc and housemade trout-bacon butter. In keeping with the bar’s French inspiration, there’s also beef tartare with oyster cream and pickled kohlrabi, and duck-liver parfait served with port, pomegranate and balsamic jelly.

What the food menu lacks in length, the wine list more than makes up for. It’s dominated by 500 different Burgundy wines; half are chablis, ranging from $70 to $3200 a bottle.

The fit-out takes inspiration from the star menu item, with oyster-inspired marble tabletops and textured walls. The neutral colour palette is livened up with pops of sea green, subtle enough not to distract from the glass case that spans the bar, filled with the day’s catch.

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Updated: July 28th, 2022

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