I really like how they’ve revamped Darling Harbour near Tumbalong Park breathing life into an area that used to be served by a lone McDonald’s. Janus is one of the many new sleek restaurants that line the promenade at Darling Quarter, but due to the lack of prominent signage, it is quite easy to miss it. You’ll find it nestled on the corner next to Braza, easily accessible from the main street if you cross the road from Sussex Street.
If you’re still not sure whether this is the right restaurant, check for the ancient style circular plaque on the wall paying homage to the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions which the restaurant is named after.
Tonight I’m here to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday by kicking off the night with some $5 Mango Daiquiris for the girls and Peronis for the guys, taking full advantage of Janus’ Happy Hour on Fridays from 4pm-7pm. The Daiquiris are not particularly alcoholic but are very fruity due to all the mango purée – they taste fantastic and we end up ordering a few more rounds of them to help keep us warm on this freezing night.
Mango Daiquiri, $5
It’s not all about the alcohol here though – Janus boasts an extensive menu of Italian dishes covering the usual pastas, pizzas, paninis and risottos. While we were waiting for the rest of the party to arrive, we ordered a bowl of rosemary chips with aioli and they turned out to be incredibly moreish and they were gone in a flash between the 5 of us.
Rosemary chips with aioli, $8
Most of Janus’ tables are outside, which was a bit of a problem on this night due to the unexpected cold night. They do have outdoor heaters blasting warmth at the tables but it wasn’t strong enough to combat the cool wind, so we collectively shivered through dinner and vowed to try coming back in warmer weather. Despite the wind chill factor, I still enjoyed my dish – a tantalising linguine con creze which was packed with seafood (mussels and prawns) as well as ribbons of pasta to soak up the light olive oil based sauce, flavoured with garlic, tomato and chilli.
Linguine con creze, $26
We were keen to try out their pizzas too, so we ordered their Diavola version which came with hot salami, mozzarella, red onion, olives, rocket and extra virgin olive oil. The base was well done, appropriately crispy considering how thin it was and allowed the toppings to take centre stage. However it wasn’t quite as flavoursome as the pasta, and after awhile the taste and textures of the pizza got a bit repetitive.
Diavola pizza, $19
Janus is a lovely addition to the vibrant Darling Quarter precinct. Once the weather heats up a bit, it would be a great spot to have a long meal with drinks, basking in the sunshine at their outdoor tables. Their Friday Happy Hour is also terrific value for those who like to get their night started early.
15/1-25 Harbour Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9267 9644