If you’re only going to hit up one house while on a night out in Sydney, better make it Shell House. Found in Sydney’s CBD, the historic clocktower building is now home to not one, but four gorgeous venues – the Dining Room & Terrace, Sky Bar, Clocktower Bar, and Menzies Bar – held across three sprawling levels and all under the one roof. If you think that sounds like a good time, you’d be right.
Shell House – which is owned by the Point Group, whose existing portfolio includes buzzing Sydney venues the Dolphin and Harry’s – opened to the public in the latter half of 2021. While the C word may have dampened its initial foray into Sydneytown, it didn’t dim its spirit. Take a walk past Shell House any night of the week and you’ll see what we mean.
While each venue has its own personality and identity – red-hued Art Deco style Clocktower Bar, we’re looking at you – the jewel in the house is no doubt the Dining Room & Terrace, found on the ninth floor. Designed by Anna Hewett, the sun-lit room features a large open kitchen, cream lamps and beige curved seating – though the space is anything but beige. In fact, it’s fun, grand, classy and stylish at the same time, and we reckon it would fit right in on the pages of Architectural Digest. Outside, a wrap-around terrace dotted with fruit trees and cityscape views has long, boozy lunches written all over it.
Joel Bickford, the former head head chef of Aria, is the culinary director of Shell House, and Aaron Ward, formerly at Sixpenny, Ester and LuMi, is the head chef. Together they have created a Mediterranean-leaning menu with creative touches. Highlights include potato scallops with chives; Wagyu pastrami with pickles and hot sauce; spanner crab with turnip, caramelised cream and yuzu; coal roasted beetroot with black fungus, blueberry and chive; ravioli with butternut, buffalo ricotta and pickled walnut; and a dry-aged sirloin on the bone. After dinner, you're spoilt for choice for where to enjoy your nightcap – good luck choosing. Though we do recommend ascending the stairs to the stunning Sky Bar – where you can take in the 400-tonne clock tower – for at least one.
Is Shell House Sydney’s coolest venue? Quite possibly. Go to the house and check out all four spots for yourself.