Walsh Bay has recently undergone quite the shake-up, with old favourites like Firefly departing to make way for new residents such as Lotus Dumpling Bar and now Hickson’s Wine Bar.
“Our chef Ian Prendergast was the original head chef of Firefly in the early days,” explains Nathan Kam, who along with co-owner Zenta Staley, also holds ties to the space’s former occupant. “But for us it’s our first business and we don’t want to be stigmatised by what was previously here. Instead our philosophy is to bring more energy to one of Sydney’s first waterfront wine bars.” The space underwent a refurbishment by interior designer Erica Jones.
Kam, who also previously worked at The Bentley prior to its closure, had a firm vision for this space. He says “We wanted to utilise the obvious benefits [of the space] but make it more approachable by providing seasonal sharing plates, paired with a wine list that supports smaller growers who make their own wines.”
The compact menu offers small plates like potato croquettes with white anchovy and gremolata and kingfish ceviche with sweet corn and subtle hints of ginger. For vegetarian friendly dishes, try roasted baby beetroot with buckwheat, organic sheep yoghurt and red chard or asparagus stalks with pecorino shavings, preserved lemon and hazelnuts. Larger plates showcase plump Italian-inspired veal and pork meatballs with tomato and oregano sugo next to duck breast with fennel cream, soba noodles, shiitake mushrooms and tangelo.
“Our theory is based on the elements of matching food and wine. There’s no one cuisine as such here, just good food on the plate, matched with wine,” says Kam. “We use produce that is optimal at the time and plan to change the menu every couple of weeks depending on what we can get our hands on.”
Hickson’s Wine Bar
Pier 7, 17 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
(02) 9241 2041