On King Street Wharf overlooking Sydney’s Darling Harbour, a few minutes’ walk from the CBD.DETAILS
Owned by the Vardis Group (of Velero, Steersons Steakhouse and Georges Mediterranean Bar & Grill), Vessel is a sleek space composed of high glass walls that pour light into the vast restaurant and bar and present sweeping views of Darling Harbour. Exposed wooden ceiling beams and a futuristic central light fixture anchor the dining room’s modern feel, echoed in the Vessel Café’s palette of blue, white and warm brown accompanied by art-like glass and timber structures. Slip through to Vessel Bar, where the organic, kidney-shaped chrome bar encases a bounty of local and foreign beverages. PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Maybe it’s because the sun has decided to shine for the first time in months, or perhaps it’s the fact that the coffee at Vessel Italian & Bar is caffeinated to perky perfection, but this restaurant has put me in a damn good mood. Drinking and dining at this spacious CBD sanctuary is like stretching out into a newly made bed – clean, crisp and refreshing. As I arrive, the cafe side of the venue is still quietly buzzing with late-lunchers enjoying purposeful tête-à-têtes behind wide screen Macbooks. In the short time since its opening, Vessel Italian & Bar’s cafe-deli area has already become known for its home-baked baguettes, which have proved a hit with bankers and business consultants looking to re-energise before an afternoon of monotonous meetings. Although the decor is light, airy and modern, the baguette fillings are devilishly old-fashioned and include favourites such as English style warm corned beef, mustard and pickles.
Even though Vessel Italian & Bar enjoys a prime Sydney setting just behind the glittering and glamorous King Street Wharf, you won’t find any curious tourists nosing around the slick, curvy zinc bar or elegant dining room. It’s all corporate class at this sophisticated bar-restaurant complex. The menu gets straight to business when it comes to bold flavours and down to earth prices. Pizzas and pastas kick things off, soon followed by a few substantial salads and a good dose of meaty mains. Like the food menu, the cocktail list is a no fuss selection of classics, designed to satisfy the caprioska cravings of after-work crowds. There is a lovely sheltered alfresco area where you can order drinks and snacks off the bar menu. Come summer time these high bar tables are hot property amongst Macquarie Bank minglers.
Vessel Italian & Bar is available for both sit-down and cocktail functions. Spaces can accommodate 10 to 140 guests seated, and 150 to 400 guests standing.