Posts for the 'Sydney' Category


Glass Brasserie Hilton Hotel Sydney

Glass Brasserie is The Sydney Hilton Hotel’s signature restaurant by Australian celebrity chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan. Chef Mangan cultivated his craft at Michel Roux ‘s 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn, leading to the contemporary French influence that marks his cooking. Chef Mangan operates a string of restaurants in Australia and Asia, and in addition to having written best-selling cookbooks and a string of TV appearances, Chef Mangan famously cooked at the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark. Glass Brasserie has won a number of awards including the much coveted ‘One-Hat’ from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide.

Glass Restaurant holds an impressive 240 seats and has been lusciously refurbished in dark glossy tones by the highly claimed New York designer Tony Chi. Glass Brasserie is comfortable and glossy. It makes for a restaurant well suited for power lunches, especially as The Hilton Hotel in Sydney is a hub for business meetings and corporate travellers.

We went for the degustation menu ($140 – about £76.40), beginning with an amuse bouche
 of pumpkin soup with croutons and feta. It was really lovely with a pleasant sweetness. The croutons and feta added a nice contrasting touch to the soup.

Glass Brasserie - pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

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The Dining Room Restaurant, Park Hyatt Hotel Sydney

The Dining Room Restaurant in The Park Hyatt Hotel occupies one of the most prime positions on Sydney Harbour. It sits under the Harbour Bridge and is located directly across from the Opera House, thus offering an incredible bird’s eye view of this timeless Australian institution. The Dining Room is the Park Hyatt Hotel’s signature restaurant, one of the most luxurious 5-star hotels in Sydney. The restaurant’s decor is every bit as sumptuous as the hotel (helped in no small part by the beautiful views) and comes with a revamped menu following the recent appointment of its new Head Chef Franck Detrait who joined in October 2013. Chef Detrait has cooked in many notable restaurants in France including the one-star Michelin restaurant Vendôme in Paris where he worked closely with the highly acclaimed Jean-Francois Rouquette.

The Opera House at Dusk, from The Dining Room Restaurant

The Opera House at Dusk, from The Dining Room Restaurant

The tasting menu was great value at $95 (about £51) and was hard to pass up. But first we celebrated the beauty of Sydney Harbour with some Sydney rock oysters ($5 each – about £2.70) which were fabulously fresh. The delicious shallot vinegar dressing was also well judged for both sweetness and acidity and complemented the oysters nicely.

The Dining Room - Sydney rock oysters

Sydney rock oysters

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Claude’s French Restaurant

One of the great things about dining out in restaurants in Australia is the BYO concept (bring your own). It is quite commonplace in Australia, although at the higher end of the dining scale, a corkage fee is usually charged. BYO makes dining out more affordable and of course ensures that your choice of wine is available. And should you forget to bring your own bottle or simply wish for only a cheeky glass, most restaurants have a wine list too. When dining out at a pricey establishment, this can help to ease the final heartache of the bill whilst allowing you to maintain certain dining standards.

So it was with this in mind that my sister and I tried to decide on which fine dining restaurants we wanted to feast at whilst I was in Sydney. However, we are both born with a foodie DNA, and both quite particular (although some might choose to say fussy). So indecision struck, despite a revamped approach to our dining budget, and I was left to busily browse through the Sydney Good Food Guide (2009) to try and secure a restaurant for a Friday night. Fumbling, I finally stumbled across the entry for Claude’s French Restaurant.

Claude’s French Restaurant opened in 1976, and as one might deduce from the name, serves French cuisine. I last visited Claude’s some ten years ago when it was revered as a destination restaurant. Since then it has placed a new head chef at the helm, so the Claude’s of yesteryear is no more. According to the Sydney Good Food Guide, the new chef Chui Lee Luk is the leading female chef in Australia, ‘bringing vigour and a new level of experimentation to the food’. Surely this promised to be one of the top restaurants in Sydney? My expectations were high and we set off with our own bottle in tow.

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