The key drawcard of this new harbourside precinct is the choice of dining. Sitting front and centre on Harbour Street is Italian wine bar Janus, from the team behind CBD wine and pastry bar Bacco. To its right, and jumping on the city’s current South American obsession, Braza will feature a Brazilian Churrascaria and will house the city’s first Cachaca bar. And rounding off the row or restaurants is the Michael McCann (Felix, Flying Fish) designed Mediterranean eatery Stacks.
More wallet-friendly options will include Fat Duck, which takes as its centrepiece a handmade French rotisserie (and is of no relation to the British Blumenthal restaurant); and popular French-Vietnamese (via Surry Hills) eatery Taste. This is a feast of options, dear readers, a feast!
Across from the restaurant strip, you’ll find a sensory wonderland of a completely different kind (and aimed at a completely different age bracket). We’re going to go out on a limb and say that this is the coolest playground we’ve come across in Sydney. There’s a 21-metre flying fox; a circular swing big enough to fit a small family; and a huge slide that can fit four kids length-ways. The best part of all, though, is the park’s network of water jets, pumps, pulleys, wheels and even an Archimedes water screw, which allow kids to manipulate the huge water stream.
We also suggest keeping an eye on some of the 'Quarter’s yet-to-be-opened spaces too. One we’re particularly excited about is the 250-seat kids' theatre, and we're told the thespian fun will commence in early 2012.
Filling the void left by the closing of Darlinghurst’s Dr Pong, the free public ping-pong tables within the Darling Quarter promise hours of drop-shot good times, so big kids can get in on a little lunchtime recreation of their own. BYO paddle and ball, and kill time until your turn on the public deckchairs in the community garden.