Situated in the midst of the bustling and vibrant North Sydney, Mount Street Terrace Hotel (or just ‘The Terrace’ to the locals) offers a sanctuary above the streets to the businessmen and travellers alike.
The Terrace thrums with the ambient sounds of businessmen and women enjoying a drink after work, which definitely adds to the atmosphere if you're into that kind of vibe. While we had no trouble finding a seat at about 6pm, the place was steadily filling up as the evening wore on; therefore I would recommend getting in early or avoiding the 1 o’clock lunch rush if you want to guarantee yourself a spot.
The drinks prices are reasonable, with a Thursday night $8 cocktail special (usually around $15) too tempting to pass up. On this particular visit, I had the 'Sex With The Captain' - some kind of peach schnapps concoction, while my friend chose a Lychee Caprioska. I have to admit, my friend made the better choice - mine was the bland to her brilliant. Perhaps with cocktails, traditional is the best route. Not quite so embarrassing to ask for, either.
Our meals, however, were superb. The bistro menu has an unusually culturally diverse range of meals to choose from - their website describes their selection as ‘Classics, Modern and Asian Inspired’ - from the lowly traditional Chicken Schnitzel ($16) and Rump Steak ($20), to Green Curry with Prawns ($18) and Spicy Duck Noodles ($17).
Mixed Platter - Delicious
We ordered the food and the drinks at the same time from the bar, and within minutes of taking our number and finding a seat on the balcony (or rather terrace), our plates were in front of us. Before the cocktails had arrived, just to give you an idea. It was by no means an empty establishment, so the speed and quality of our food preparation was very impressive. I ordered the mixed platter ($12), consisting of two satay chicken kebabs, two spring rolls and two curry puffs.
Curry Puffs and Spring Rolls
Absolutely delicious, and I couldn't even finish my last kebab. The best part about the platter was the presentation. I'm a sucker for carved carrots.
The Proverbial Carved Carrots
My friend dug into an enormous 350g steak, placed on a pile of chips with a substantial green salad alongside it. Despite an earlier discussion over whether it would be worth the $20 price tag, the quality of the steak spoke for itself. It also appeared perfectly cooked to my friend's specifications, which I know is a vital detail to all steak lovers out there.
The service was speedy and friendly, and the need for customers to collect their own knives and forks for their meal is a minor inconvenience, but one familiar to anyone who frequents pub bistros.The vibe indoors is dark but sophisticated, combining groups of low, comfy chairs with tall wooden bar stools and tables.
Plenty of balcony seating and standing room means it shouldn't be too hard to find a spot outdoors for your sun-downer drink or meal. The Terrace is a great place to visit with workmates or friends at any time of the afternoon or evening.
Where: 83 Mount Street North Sydney NSW
Why: Great vibe
Cost: About $25 - $30 per person including drinks
When: Early afternoon through to late evening