Everyone loves to stay in a lavish hotel, but we all know that sometimes the adjoining restaurants are, ahem, sub par. None of this room service business, please, it’s time to get out and explore some of Sydney’s best restaurants… That happen to be in your current residence. Not just for hotel guests, these hotel restaurants are good enough for even locals to pay attention to.
Be prepared to be wowed, Listers, these restaurants are changing the reputation of hotel dining. Finally.
It would be rude to begin this list with any other restaurant. Pei Modern is headed up by one of the world’s best chefs, Mark Best (the man behind Marque). The menu is a glorious blend of Modern Australian cuisine and gastronomy, so it’s the perfect place to expand your foodie horizons and try something new. Kick things off with the burrata, kohlrabi and persimmon and a bottle of Aussie wine. If you’re into offal (or even if you’re not), the casarecce with chicken dumplings and reggiano is simply incredible. For something a little closer to home but just as memorable, it’s got to be the 5+ striploin steak. For dessert, it’s the duck-egg sauternes custard and crostoli, all the way. Whether you roll home or stumble up to your hotel room after, Pei Modern is unquestionably one of the highlights of the Sydney restaurant scene.
Park Hyatt Dining Room
Go to this Sydney restaurant for the spectacular harbour views, and stay for the delicious food. If you’ve never tried your hand at escargots (or you’re just a big fan), The Dining Room at The Park Hyatt is the place to get stuck in; they’re served in a rich, buttery spinach and garlic sauce with macadamia and tatsoi, and are nothing short of heavenly. For mains, it’s got to be the canaroli risotto with butternut pumpkin and glazed chestnut, mimolette cheese and aged balsamic vinegar. Don’t skimp on sides, either: the potato mash is smoother than Kris Jenner’s forehead. The best part is that you won’t need to break the bank dining at The Dining Room. It’s just $59 per head for two delicious courses and a glass of wine, score!
If a restaurant has Luke Mangan’s name on it, you just know it’s going to be great, if not epic; and in this case it’s always the latter. The menu at this restaurant in The Hilton is split into categories, so you can order depending on what tickles your fancy that evening. There are caviar and oysters if that’s your style, but the main event simply must be one of glass brasserie's melt-in-your-mouth steaks, namely the Greenham dry-aged rib eye, it’s been known to cause tears of happiness.
Gowings Bar & Grill
As much as we love an eye-popping hotel buffet, there’s something more personal about a delicious a la carte menu. Gowings Bar & Grill in the quirky-chic QT Hotel offer a delicious (and enormous) menu with an incredible spread of seafood. The giant octopus is a must for your entrée, while the 100% black Angus rib eye is a treat for all the senses. Be sure to leave plenty of room for dessert, because the flourless peanut butter double chocolate cake (say that ten times fast) will change you as a person.
Saké Double Bay
InterContinental Double Bay
Who doesn’t love descending the hotel lift, knowing one of Sydney’s best Japanese restaurants is waiting downstairs? The Double Bay Saké is a little more modern than its sister in The Rocks, but it’s just as memorable. Be sure to order a few bites of the robata grill, and don’t even think about skimping on sweets: the dragon’s egg is easily one of the best desserts in Sydney.
We’d happily eat anything that has Stefano Manfredi’s smiling face behind it, but it just so happens that Balla is one of the best modern Italian restaurants in Sydney, with a view to boot. If you start with some antipasti, the grilled cauliflower with truffle pecorino, cured egg yolk and macadamia is a must. And when time comes for mains and you can’t resist some pasta, go for the blue swimmer crab ravioli with saffron broth and cauliflower… You know you want it.
Kent Street Kitchen
Housed in one of the most beautiful hotels in Sydney, Kent Street Kitchen has been popping up on Sydney restaurant guides since it opened its doors in early 2015. Chef de Cuisine Daniel Rudolph is casually plating up some of the most innovative and memorable food I’ve come across in a while, so be sure to bring an open mind and an empty stomach. Hot tip: you may never have a better steak than the wagyu 9+ flat iron.
Meat and Wine Co
The name says it all: there’s meat, wine, and tonnes of it. This delicious Sydney hotel restaurant is the perfect spot for a boys’ lunch, it’s decked out with cow hide and there is enough cow to keep your stomach satisfied for days. Go for the pasture-fed Monte rib eye if you want to pull out all the stops. Go on and treat yourself, what are hotels for?
Image credit: Pei Modern