After 13 years Opera Bar, on the lower concourse of Bennelong Point, has had a makeover, unveiling an updated look and new menu.

Chef Matt Moran’s MorSul restaurant group has teamed up with Opera Bar operators Solotel for the redesign and it’s nothing short of a breath of fresh air for the popular bar.

“It just needed a refresh. The market has changed since Opera Bar first began – food has changed and the overall offerings available to consumers have changed,” says the chef, whose name is synonymous with Sydney locations such as Aria at Circular Quay and North Bondi Fish. “I’m really excited by what we’re putting in place down there.”

New honey-coloured wood interiors, redesigned lighting and brassy finishes see the long space fronting the harbour transformed from dark and moody to a brighter and more open place to take in that famous Harbour Bridge view. The design is a collaboration between Solotel’s creative director Anna Solomon, architect Chris Grinham (of Humphrey + Edwards) and interior designer Nina Maya. It includes a dedicated raw seafood bar as well as a separate charcuterie room complete with a display of hanging cured meats. The new menus have been designed by Moran.

“There’ll be a great range of fresh Australian seafood and lots of different specials. I’ve also been working hard with Victor Churchill on the charcuterie bar – there’ll be a fantastic variety of high-quality meats and imported jamon from Spain,” says Moran.

The venue seats around 700, and – just as before – you will need to order at one of the bars before finding a seat from which to ogle the harbour setting. The new-look venue will be open for lunch and dinner every day of the week with breakfast on weekends.

The menu is relaxed and accessible with Hawkesbury River oysters with ponzu, whole roast chickens, slow-roast lamb shoulders, a range of sophisticated bar snacks, pizza and beer-battered flathead. There is a comprehensive wine list and a tidy selection of signature cocktails including a new twist on san old classic; the Sydney Sling, a peach and pear sour or a summer garden cup with Pimm’s and strawberries. Live music will be a regular feature, and the revamp includes a stand-alone cafe – Café at Opera Bar – slated to open in February 2015.

Opera Bar
Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House
(02) 9247 1666

Mon to Fri 11.30am–midnight
Sat & Sun 9am–midnight