Pyrmont/Ultimo peninsula is picturesque and lively…well, usually. It has a well preserved heritage that sits comfortably alongside avante garde architecture. The local population is one of the most highly concentrated in the country and is distributed among tall apartment blocks and traditional cottages. Several attractions make this area a popular tourist destination, yet at the same time it has a very strong sense of community and local pride, and that is reflected in its economy. Many of the restaurants, cafes, bars, retail stores and services are small, often family-run, enterprises and they represent a very diverse cultural demographic. The spirit of Pyrmont Ultimo is alive, so keep it thriving by supporting these local businesses.
Sydney Fish Market
On a normal sunny weekend this waterside precinct is packed with people and seagulls enjoying the open air dining, variety of food outlets, groceries, bars and, of course, the widest range of seafood this side of the equator. As of this writing, the Sydney Seafood Market (SFM) is continuing to trade, although you should check individual stores for hours and details. They are strictly enforcing physical distance rules, are implementing continuous surface cleaning, and have hand sanitisers mounted on the walls throughout the indoor complex. You can still buy freshly baked artisan bread; excellent quality fresh seafood, delicious cooked seafood as well as other food offerings; and do some grocery shopping while you’re there. Many shops are also offering home delivery of both fresh and cooked food. For store details visit the SFM website.
Two Sis & Co Pyrmont
Even if you’re not hungry you should visit the Facebook and Instagram accounts of these guys and indulge your visual senses. This is food art that belongs in a gallery; the colours alone will make you feel better about being in quarantine. If you prefer your desserts light blue with flower petals and a mermaid-tail garnish, then put this on your list of “places to visit when it’s all over.” In the meantime, they are offering home delivery and the presentation in the take-away box is still very impressive. They offer cafe style breakfast and lunch menu with delicious, healthy, good-sized Japanese-themed meals. You can have a salad or rice bowl with marinated pieces of fish, chicken, beef or tofu. Don’t forget to take a photo first. 😉
The Terminus Hotel is a favourite watering hole among Pyrmont locals as well as being popular with visitors and tourists. It’s one of the oldest pubs in the area and had actually lain dormant and dilapidated for 33 years before being completely restored and re-opened in 2018. So it’s probably not enjoying being empty again. Thankfully, their delicious Aussie pub style menu is now available for take-away and home delivery. Plus, you can order wine, beer, or cider to come with it, so you can almost completely recreate your Terminus experience on your own balcony. Take-away options include chicken curry pie, pasta, beef burger or chicken schnitzel and chips. They’ve even put together a couple of take-away meal/alcohol package specials to make life easier.
This is a gorgeous French patisserie that occupies one of Pyrmont’s well preserved heritage buildings (a former bank) on the edge of the historical Union Square. And while, at this time, you can’t sit outside against the blonde sandstone wall and watch passers by a la Parisian cafe, you can still go inside and marvel at the glass cabinet display of French delicacies. They have delicious hand-made savoury and sweet pastries; biscuits, slices and other tempting morsels. Plus they do terrific large cakes for special occasions or no particular occasion. Pop in and grab something savoury and something sweet and order a freshly brewed coffee and take a little bit of Paris home with you.
This is a quaint cocktail bar at the bottom of Harris Street. Like so many places in Pyrmont, it has the spirit of history mixed with modern sensibility in its decor. While you can’t sit and imbibe a drink while imbibing the decor, you can admire it while waiting for your take-away order. They have an uncomplicated menu, offering a handful of choices including pastas, burgers and a charcuterie platter, with salad, fries, and garlic bread as optional extras. There’s a selection of beer and wine to accompany your meal. Or you can go with the waiter’s recommendation – their #isolationsensation: two pastas, garlic bread, roquette salad and a bottle of wine for only $75. Oh my darling, oh my darling…
DK’ Station Vietnamese
It’s got a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Facebook and it’s little wonder. This place is bustling during a normal work week and just as much on weekends. It has plenty of seating and great service, so keep it in mind for a group booking once we can start doing that again. In the meantime, you can sample the take-away menu in the comfort of your own home. This is quite simply really good Vietnamese food. Fresh, delicious, plentiful, well-presented and very satisfying. Just be wary if you order anything with chilli – it will be HOT. The take-away menu includes pho, bowl, fresh spring rolls, or pork rolls. And it all looks amazing.
Porter’s Liquor (Pyrmont Cellars)
Thankfully, those in charge had the good sense to know that alcohol is an essential item and liquor stores must stay open. And even more gratefully for Pyrmont locals, Porter’s Liquor has a very wide, well-stocked selection of wines, beers, ciders, spirits and gin that hasn’t been lamentably turned into hand-sanitiser. The people in the store are very knowledgable and happy to give advice and make recommendations. Alas, the terrific wine tasting evenings and classes have been put on hold for the duration of the “C” thing, so you’ll have to conduct your own tastings at home with a selection of bottles.
Australian National Maritime Museum
A museum is one of those places where you really have to be there in person to experience it…or do you? The one benefit of living through a world-wide shutdown at this particular point in time is that we have the technology to at least partially recreate some of our real world adventures. ANMM is proof. They have put many of their exhibitions and experiences online so you can enjoy them virtually. Take a virtual tour of historic boats, yachts, and navy craft. Enjoy an online stroll through some terrific exhibitions. Get the kids involved in digital activities including games. You can do everything except shop in the museum store. No, wait! You can do that too, because they can ship your purchase to you…naturally! 😉
Kwik Kopy (Darling Harbour)
These people are in the business of business, that is, they help other businesses stay in business. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s worth your while to visit their website and read some of the valuable blog posts. Or just go to their Facebook page andcheck out the perfect range of products they have for the current conditions. Floor signs that remind people to keep the requisite 1.5 metres away from each other. Sandwich boards to let people know you’re open for take-away. Corporate backdrops that make you look professional (and hide family photos) during those video calls. Tonnes more signage and other great services too.
Apart from getting prescriptions filled and buying behind-the-counter medicines, there is a lot you can get from a pharmacy that you can’t get from the supermarket. One of those things is good solid advice. At Pyrmont Pharmacy, the staff are friendly and helpful and make sure you get what you need. They have good supply of prescription medication and will work hard to get anything they don’t have. Just remember, if you have any dubious COVID-19 type symptoms you need to call a doctor and get instructions on what to do next. DON’T go to a chemist or anywhere else until you’ve been given the all clear.
Those of you who have been quarantined with non-humans will be pleased to know that veterinarians are considered essential service providers. So if something goes awry with your fur baby you can take them down to Pyrmont Veterinary Hospital (call first, of course!). Pyrmont Vet has fully qualified staff who can provide a range of specialised services, from medical and maintenance right through to grooming. They are also a cattery and can advise you on all things feline. If you like looking at cat photos (who doesn’t?) visit their Facebook page and enjoy.
Broadway Sydney (Shopping Centre)
This is a major shopping precinct for Pyrmont and Ultimo with a variety of specialty stores and supermarkets. The centre is currently open for select stores and services. Coles, Aldi, Harris Farm, K-Mart and Target are open. You’ll need to check the website for other stores, some of which may have switched to online or delivery only services. The centre is also launching pop-up food stalls on the ground floor featuring one of the food outlets in the centre for a period then rotating through other retailers. You can order a meal, do some shopping, then come back and pick up your meal and head home. Mr Wu, Mumbai Express, and Pepper Seed Thai etc will be among the first. Also, while we’re in this lockdown period, parking in the centre is FREE.